Joint effort blends DME from coal-bed methane

NKK Corp., Taiheiyo Coal Mining Co., and Sumitomo Metal Industries Ltd. say they synthesized dimethyl ether (DME) from coal-bed methane in October 1999. This 5 tonne/day test plant, operating since last October, conducts DME synthesis experiments with coal from the Kushiro Colliery of Taiheiyo Coal Mining.Click here to enlarge imageThe companies ran a 300-hr trial run in their 5 tonne/day Kushiro, Japan, test plant (Fig. 1). After 1 week, the test produced 80% of the designed capacity of DME at a purity of 97%. Also, no deterioration was detected in catalyst activity during the trial run. After optimization of distillation conditions, the three companies expect at least 99% DME purity.Ma...

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