Experimental Study on the Synthesis of Dimethyl Ether

디메틸에테르 합성 반응의 실험적 연구

  • Choi, Chang Woo (Department of Chemical Engineering, Inha University) ;
  • Cho, Wonihl (Research and Development Division, Korea Gas Corporation) ;
  • Baek, Young Soon (Research and Development Division, Korea Gas Corporation) ;
  • Row, Kyung Ho (Department of Chemical Engineering, Inha University)
  • 최창우 (인하대학교 화학공학과) ;
  • 조원일 (한국가스공사 LNG기술연구센터) ;
  • 백영순 (한국가스공사 LNG기술연구센터) ;
  • 노경호 (인하대학교 화학공학과)
  • Received : 2005.08.05
  • Accepted : 2006.03.09
  • Published : 2006.04.10


Dimethyl ether (DME) is a new clean fuel as an environmentally-benign energy resource. DME can be manufactured from various energy sources including natural gas, coal, biomass and spent plastic. In addition to its environmentally friendly properties, DME has similar characteristics to those of LPG. Therefore, it is considered as an excellent substitute fuel for LPG, fuel cells, power plant, and especially diesel and is expected to be the alternative fuel by 2010. The experimental study of the direct synthesis of DME was investigated under various conditions over a temperature range of $220{\sim}280^{\circ}C$, syngas ratio 1.2~3.0. All experiments were carried out with a hybrid catalyst, composed of a methanol synthesis catalyst ($Cu/ZnO/Al_2O_3$) and a dehydration catalyst (${\gamma}-Al_2O_3$). The observed reaction rate follows qualitatively a Langmiur-Hinshellwood model as the reaction mechanism. Such a mechanism is considered with three reactions; methanol synthesis, methanol dehydration and water gas shift reaction. From a surface reaction with dissociative adsorption of hydrogen, methanol, and water, individual reaction rate was determined.


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