Is a process capable of obtaining the synthesis of DME or methanol from syngas in a single step.

Thanks to a Horizon project (Project ID: 101058540 - Project name: PLASTICE), we have developed a process capable of obtaining the synthesis of DME in a single step: starting from syngas to the formation of methanol and up to its dehydration to DME. Process which must be environmentally sustainable and which must reduce processing waste to a minimum, with a tendency towards elimination.

For this specific purpose, the ZEB was therefore designed and built: a modular membrane reactor that requires minimal maintenance. It can process syngas continuously without downtime and works in line with our plasma-equipped gasifier and other gas purification systems.

The plasma at the end of the gasifier improved the quality and purity of the syngas as well as obtaining the fusion of the ash into a useful inert lava, thus solving two of the main problems of the transformation process.

The direct hydrogenation of CO for the formation of methanol and its dehydration leading to the formation of DME is developed in a membrane reactor designed for the optimization and improvement of the conversion efficiency, otherwise limited by the thermodynamic equilibrium and the temperature gradients. The co-current circulation of a sweep gas through the permeation zone promotes the removal of both water and heat from the reaction zone, thus increasing the overall DME yield.

Among the available membrane materials, it has been preferred to adopt porous membranes, in particular SOD membranes, since they satisfy important prerequisites regarding hydrophilicity, thermal and mechanical stability and high selectivity. The process conditions adopted are those that guarantee maximum DME yields as well as the applicability of the ZEB reactor to other reactions that are particularly sensitive to reaction water, such as the hydrogenation of CO2.


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