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ABSTRACT

Methanol is widely used, mainly in the plastic industry and alternative fuels. So, in
order to meet the high demand, more methanol producing plants has been built and
these plants would need to comply with the environmental standards for a greener
present and future. So, biomass as the feedstock is preferable over natural gas and
coal, which are fossil fuels. The six main components in a methanol plant are the
feedstock, pretreatment, production of syngas, syngas cleaning, the conditioning of
syngas and methanol synthesis. As for the feedstock, the five main categories are
wood, rice, palm oil, sugarcane and municipal waste. We have chosen the palm oil
due to the massive availability of palm oil in Malaysia. Then, the feedstock goes for
pretreatment, in which there are three types of pretreatment process which are
AFEX Pretreatment, Thermal Pretreatment and Steam Explosion. We have chosen
the Thermal pretreatment based on the facts that will be discussed in the
pretreatment section. For the production of syngas, biomass pyrolysis and steam
gasification are compared, and biomass steam gasification method was chosen as
the best method. The next process is the cleaning of the syngas, in which there are
two methods available; low temperature wet gas cleaning and dry hot gas cleaning.
The dry hot gas gleaning method was chosen due to its advantages which will be
discussed in the syngas cleaning section. Then we move on to the syngas
conditioning, which its main purpose is to produce the optimum ratio of hydrogen to
carbon monoxide (H2/CO), which is at 2. The 4 types of syngas conditioning methods
available are hydrocarbon reforming, Water-gas shift reaction, CO2 removal and H2
addition. We have chosen the steam reforming process (under hydrocarbon
reforming).