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Methanol

[Due to the increasing size of the archives, each topic page now contains only the prior 365 days of content. Access to older stories is now solely through the Monthly Archive pages or the site search function.]

BASF and bse Engineering sign development agreement to transform CO2 and renewable electricity into methanol; power-to-methanol

August 24, 2017

BASF and bse Engineering have signed an exclusive joint development agreement for BASF to provide custom-made catalysts for a new chemical energy storage process. This process will enable the economically viable transformation of excess power and off-gas carbon dioxide into methanol in small-scale, decentralized production units.

In addition to being used as a fuel or chemical feedstock, methanol, the simplest alcohol, can serve as long-term chemical energy storage. It offers energy densities of 4.4 kWh/l—almost six times that of hydrogen—and 5.5 kWh/kg—about 20 times the specific energy of advanced Li-ion batteries with silicon anodes. Put another way, 1 cubic meter (264 gallons) of methanol offers equivalent energy storage to 222 BMW i3 EVs, each with a 21.6 kWh battery.

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Brookhaven team identifies active sites on catalysts for converting CO2 to methanol

May 10, 2017

Chemists from the US Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory and their collaborators have definitively identified the active sites of a catalyst commonly used for making methanol from CO2. The results, published in the journal Science, resolve a longstanding debate about exactly which catalytic components take part in the chemical reactions—and thus which should be the focus of efforts to boost performance.

The hydrogenation of carbon dioxide is a key step in the production of methanol; catalysts made from copper (Cu) and zinc oxide (ZnO) on alumina supports are often used.

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China team develops highly efficient catalyst for low-temperature aqueous phase refoming of methanol to produce hydrogen

April 01, 2017

Researchers in China, along with colleagues in the US, have developed a new catalyst that shows outstanding hydrogen-production activity and stability in the low-temperature aqueous phase reforming of methanol (APRM).

In a paper in the journal Nature, the team reports that platinum (Pt) atomically dispersed on α-molybdenum carbide (α-MoC) enables low-temperature (150–190 ˚C), base-free hydrogen production through APRM, with an average turnover frequency reaching 18,046 moles of hydrogen per mole of platinum per hour. The new catalyst, the researchers suggest, paves a way towards a commercially achievable hydrogen-storage strategy.

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EIA: China’s use of methanol in liquid fuels has grown rapidly since 2000; >500K bpd in 2016

February 23, 2017

China is the global leader in methanol use and has recently expanded its methanol production capacity. Now, a study commissioned by the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) from Argus Media (a global provider of analysis on energy and commodities), finds that since the early 2000s, China’s consumption of methanol in fuel products has risen sharply. The report estimates consumption to have been more than 500,000 barrels per day (b/d) in 2016.

EIA commissioned the study to better understand China’s consumption of methanol and its derivatives. The estimates developed in the study have now been incorporated into EIA’s historical data and forecasts of petroleum and other liquids consumption in China.

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FCA presents Fiat 500 M15 (methanol); to be sold in Israel

November 03, 2016

At the Fuel Choices Summit in Israel this week, FCA presented the Fiat 500 M15—a retail-ready version of the Fiat 500 that runs on a blend of 85% gasoline and 15% methanol; is compliant with the Euro 6 New European Driving Cycle (NEDC); delivers a 2% CO2 reduction compared with the same Euro 6 version of the vehicle running on gasoline; and maintains the same vehicle performance.

The Fiat 500M15 is bi-fuel and can run on both M15 and gasoline, as well as any mixture of the two fuels. The product will be marketed in Israel by MCA—the official Israeli importer of FCA Group.

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Rotterdam proposed location for Enerkem waste-to-chemicals plant

October 07, 2016

A partnership comprising AkzoNobel, Van Gansewinkel, Air Liquide, AVR and Enerkem is proposing to build a waste-to-chemicals plant in Rotterdam in collaboration with the Port of Rotterdam, the City of Rotterdam, the province of South Holland and InnovationQuarter.

The new chemical plant will use Enerkem’s innovative technology to convert residual waste into methanol, a raw material used in the chemical industry. The methanol will then be converted into chemicals such as acetic acid (e.g., for fibers and adhesives), thickening agents and dimethyl ether (clean propellant gases).

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