Disclosed are methods for producing dimethyl ether (DME) from methanol and for producing DME directly from syngas, such as syngas from biomass. Also disclosed are apparatus for DME production. The disclosed processes generally function at higher temperatures with lower contact times and at lower pressures than conventional processes so as to produce higher DME yields than do conventional processes. Certain embodiments of the processes are carried out in reactors providing greater surface to volume ratios than the presently used DME reactors. Certain embodiments of the processes are carried out in systems comprising multiple microchannel reactors.
ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF GOVERNMENT SUPPORT
This invention was made with Government support under Contract DE-AC0576RLO1830 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The Government has certain rights in the invention.