Tehran, Iran, May 6
Two Iranian petrochemical companies have signed a contract to produce catalyst domestically for methanol synthesis.
Iran's Petrochemical Research and Technology Company has signed a contract with Sabalan Petrochemical company on the sidelines of the 24th Iran International Oil, Gas, Refining & petrochemical Exhibition, to provide catalyst for production of methanol, Trend reports.
Iran holds the highest amount of natural gas reserves in the world. Meanwhile, exporting gas is difficult due to costs, so converting natural gas into petrochemical products is very important for the country. Methanol is one of the most valuable petrochemical products of natural gas, hence the Petrochemical Research and Technology Company is to produce synthesis to convert gas to methanol.
Iran looks to increase its methanol production within its Sixth Development Plan, expanding its production capacity to 15.6 million tons.
If Iran's companies handle the domestic production of methanol, Iran would be saving up to $14 million per year, and considering the capacities of the petrochemical companies, it can expect to become a lot less dependent on imports.
In a typical methanol plant, natural gas and water are converted to synthesis gas (syngas), which consists of carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide and hydrogen. The syngas is then converted into methanol in a high-pressure process using a catalyst made of copper, zinc and aluminum.