Methanol Production from Solid Recovered Fuel and Lignite: Techno-Economic and Environmental Assessment

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The main purpose of this work is to examine the techno-economics and environmental assessment of the Solid Recovered Fuel and Lignite to methanol pathway. Methanol is produced by gasifying the solid fuels to carbon monoxide and hydrogen and then reacting to produce methanol under pressure during the methanol synthesis process. The data obtained from the partners is used to adapt this study for the liquid fuel synthesis application. The in-house personal computer-based process simulation package, ECLIPSE, is used to perform process modelling and the techno-economic assessment of methanol production. The @Risk 8.2© software is used to estimate the cost contingency of the project. The SimaPro© software package was used to carry out the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). The gasifier plant contributes significantly to the capital costs. The results show that increased Solid Recovered Fuel (SRF) in the feedstock mix has favourable economics due to the negative SRF charges resulting in a lower break-even selling price (BESP) than feedstock mixes with higher ratios of Lignite. Plant availability, capital investment and the time value of money are the factors that have the greatest impact on BESP. Increasing the SRF in the feedstock mix decreases the Global Warming impact of the methanol production compared to higher proportions of Lignite. However, the resultant impact is much greater than that of a natural gas reformer. Furthermore, the employment of off-gas recovery and carbon capture can further reduce both the Global Warming impact and the overall Single Score of the process, making it favourably comparable to the natural gas water gas shift configurations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3801-3819
Number of pages19
JournalWaste and Biomass Valorization
Issue number9
Early online date5 Apr 2022
Publication statusPublished online - 5 Apr 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors kindly acknowledge the financial support of the European Project LIG2LIQ (RFCS-01-2017 GA796585) co-funded by the European Commission managed Research Fund for Coal and Steel (RFCS).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Author(s).


  • Solid recovered fuel
  • Lignite
  • Techno-economic analysis
  • Life cycle assessment
  • Methanol production


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