On the decarbonization of chemical and energy industriespower-to-x design strategies (hacia la descarbonización de las industrias química y energética: estrategias de diseño de procesos power-to-x)

  1. Antonio Sánchez García
Supervised by:
  1. Mariano Martín Martín Director
  2. Pastora Isabel Vega Cruz Director

Defence university: Universidad de Salamanca

Year of defence: 2021

  1. Pedro Antonio Ollero de Castro Chair
  2. Gonzalo Guillén Gosálbez Secretary
  3. Ángel Irabien Gulías Committee member

Type: Thesis

Teseo: 698415 DIALNET lock_openTESEO editor


Nowadays, the concern on the sustainability is leading to an entire new economic system. This new paradigm affects all sectors such as agriculture, industry, financial sector, etc. Two of the most affected are the chemical industry and the energy system due to their current configuration and, these two sectors are particularly studied in this thesis. With regards to the chemical industry, electrochemical production is one of the most attractive methods to produce chemicals in a sustainable way leaving behind traditional non-renewable production. In this thesis, particular attention has been paid to the sustainable production of ammonia. Two different routes have been assessed, the first one uses water electrolysis and evaluates different air separation technologies depending on the scale, and the second one using biomass as feedstock. Using these electrochemical products, it is possible to build a new sustainable chemical industry. In this thesis, the synthesis of dimethyl carbonate (DMC) is proposed using renewable methanol, ammonia, and captured carbon dioxide. Regarding the energy sector, the introduction of renewable sources is essential to achieve the proposed goals. At this point, energy storage will be crucial to guarantee demand satisfaction due to the inherent fluctuations of solar and wind energies. This thesis is focused on the evaluation of chemicals as a potential form of storage or as energy carriers. The transformation of ammonia into power at process scale is studied providing the necessary results to implement this alternative at grid-scale. The design and operation of renewable-based facilities are to be addressed simultaneously including the location of the units due to the distributed renewable resources. An integrated system is proposed to use chemicals as energy carries for different energy applications in a region of Spain by calculating the optimal capacities and schedule and the optimal location of the facilities. In addition, the integration of different intermittent and non-intermittent renewable energies together with different storage technologies is performed from an economic and social perspective to meet a given power demand. All these proposed systems and tools contribute to create a future scenario in which chemical and energy sectors are transformed to be less impactful on the environment around us.