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Abstract

With growing climate change concerns, depleting natural resources and decrease in oil and gas prices, it is more vital than ever to efficiently manage natural resource allocation. Methane, the key component in natural gas and a raw material for numerous chemicals, is Qatar's more abundant resource. Natural gas can be monetized through many alternative paths. It can be sold as natural gas, either through pipelines or in liquefied form, or converted into diverse sets of fuels and materials using many alternative processing technologies. In the meantime, concerns of the effects of increased carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere, majority of which are emitted from large industrial stationary sources and fuel consumption, have caused the global society to seek ambitious emission reduction targets.

While on the one hand natural gas provides a clean fuel associated and enables carbon dioxide emissions through fuel switching globally, its local processing is associated with significant footprints. In the case of Qatar and its small population, this has resulted in very high per capita emissions. Most of the emissions are stationary and spatially concentrated in industrial clusters, where they originate mainly from natural gas processing, hydrocarbon processing, petrochemicals and metals production, and power and water generation.

The industrial sector is challenged to balance profit making activities from natural gas monetization with increasing pressures to reduce overall carbon dioxide emissions. Conventional design of industrial parks centering on natural gas are carried out in an ad-hoc process that depends on the expertise of designers, available capital, market demand and regulations. Reduction methods in the past have been limited in technology, energy integration or geographical proximity to apply carbon capture and sequestration (CCS).

Recently, carbon integration (Al-Mohannadi and Linke, 2015a,b) has been introduced as a systematic approach to determine the most efficient carbon dioxide reduction options in industrial parks by considering multiple carbon dioxide sources, potential carbon sinks, the layout of the city and the associated costs of transmission and conditioning. Carbon integration looks into the various conversion routes that take carbon dioxide into value added products, which can be converted chemically, biologically or through geographical utilization such as Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) applications. This creates incentives to reduce carbon emissions, to create synergies between firms and to produce additional products in the cluster, while adhering to required emission reduction targets.

Beyond focusing on low cost carbon dioxide emissions reduction, the broader design challenge for a natural gas monetizing industrial cluster is to identify the most promising configurations from the vast number of alternatives that exist from the possible combinations of many alternative natural gas monetization processes, and the many alternative carbon management options that could be applied, whilst exploiting synergies between natural gas conversion and carbon management. Most previous works have focused on different aspects of the overall problem: optimizing gas conversion processes, and managing carbon dioxide emissions reductions. Very few works have considered monetization in industrial clusters, and there is no published work on how to systemically make gas monetization decisions under carbon dioxide emissions constraints.

This work introduces the first systematic approach to allocate natural resource under carbon dioxide footprint constraints. The approach yields integrated natural gas and carbon dioxide management schemes that yield the maximum profit for the given gas monetization and carbon dioxide management options and constraints that exist in the industrial cluster. The work explores different carbon dioxide emission reduction scenarios; expansion plans and determines most profitable product mix from an industrial cluster. By taking into consideration the tradeoff between environmental performance and potential profitability of natural resource allocation, it provides valuable information to decision makers from an optimization based tool. Policy makers and regulators can use the tool for developing strategies and for planning of more sustainable industrial clusters, parks or cities.

The work is illustrated using a case study to demonstrate the application of the method on industrial cluster resembling a configuration of gas monetization options often observed in oil and gas centered economies.

Keywords

Resource Allocation, Climate Change, Carbon Dioxide emissions, Carbon Integration, Natural Gas Allocation, Gas Monetization, Carbon Reduction, Process Integration, Industrial Parks, Planning, Modeling, Optimization.

References

Al-Mohannadi, D.M., P. Linke (2015). On the Systematic Carbon Integration of Industrial Parks for Climate Footprint Reduction. Journal of Cleaner Production, DOI: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2015.05.094.

Al-Mohannadi, D.M., S.K. Bishnu, P. Linke, S.Y. Alnouri (2015b). Systematic Multi-Period Carbon Integration in an Industrial City. Chemical Engineering Transactions 45, 1219–1224.

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/content/papers/10.5339/qfarc.2016.EEPP3161
2016-03-21
2019-12-08
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