Blue World Technologies, developer and manufacturer of methanol fuel cells, is acquiring Danish Power Systems, a 25-year-old High Temperature Polymer Electrolyte Membrane (HTPEM) membrane electrode assembly (MEA) research and development company. The transaction follows Blue World’s August 2019 purchase of 15% of the shares in Danish Power Systems. (Earlier post.)... Read more →


A team led by researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s (Berkeley Lab) Molecular Foundry has designed and synthesized ultrasmall nickel nanoclusters (∼1.5 nm) deposited on defect-rich BN nanosheet (Ni/BN) catalysts with excellent methanol dehydrogenation activity and selectivity. In an open-access paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of... Read more →


Fuel cells based on methanol oxidation have potential for the motor and technical industries. A group of researchers from Far Eastern Federal University (FEFU), Austria, Turkey, Switzerland, and the UK has developed a new metallic glass that is 85% more efficient in oxidizing methanol than its platinum-based analogs. Moreover, because... Read more →


Methanol fuel cell developer Blue World closes €6M investment round, leases production building

Methanol fuel cell developer and manufacturer Blue World Technologies (earlier post) has closed an investment round with an investment of more than €6 million. The company has also signed a leasing agreement on a new production building at the Port of Aalborg. Blue World Technologies’ methanol fuel cells are combined... Read more →


Enerkem, with a group of strategic partners including major investor Shell, along with Suncor and Proman, and Hydro-Québec supplying green hydrogen and oxygen, and with the support of the Québec and Canadian governments, is proposing the construction of a biofuel plant in Varennes, in the Greater Montréal area. Varennes Carbon... Read more →


Porsche, Siemens Energy and partners are developing and implementing a pilot project—the “Haru Oni” project—in Chile that is expected to yield the world’s first integrated, commercial, industrial-scale plant for making synthetic climate-neutral fuels (eFuels). Electrolyzers will use wind power to produce green hydrogen. In a second step, plans call for... Read more →


Element 1 Corp licenses methanol-based M-Series hydrogen generator technology to RIX Industries

Element 1 Corp (e1) has licensed its proprietary methanol-based M-Series hydrogen generator technology to RIX Industries (RIX). The compact M-Series was designed to displace stored compressed hydrogen to support fuel cell propulsion applications. As the M-Series produces low-pressure hydrogen which is consumed by the fuel cell, almost no hydrogen is... Read more →


Methanol fuel cell developer and manufacturer Blue World Technologies (earlier post) is starting limited production—the first step in commercializing its methanol fuel cell technology. Blue World Technologies’ complete system includes a methanol reformer for fuel conversion, DC/DC for power conversion and fuel cell stack for power production. The fuel cell... Read more →


A current research project is working to establish the technical basis for standardization of methanol fuels in Europe. The project involves a consortium of universities, research institutes, industrial companies and small and medium-sized enterprises as partners. The partners in the “Methanol Standard” project aim to pave way for the certification... Read more →


Oregon-based Element 1 Corp (e1), a developer of hydrogen generation technology, in collaboration with China-based Co-Win Hydrogen Power Company Limited (CO-WIN), announced that e1’s proprietary methanol-based M-Series hydrogen generator has been incorporated onto a medium-duty fuel cell truck produced by one of the world’s largest truck manufacturing companies. Extended road... Read more →


Inspired by naturally occurring processes, a team of Boston College chemists used a multi-catalyst system to convert carbon dioxide to methanol at the lowest temperatures reported with high activity and selectivity. A paper on the work is published in the journal Chem. Methanol is a promising renewable fuel that can... Read more →


In Germany, BSE Engineering and the Institute for Renewable Energy Systems at Stralsund University of Applied Sciences (IRES) have demonstrated the conversion of wind power into renewable methanol. Operation of this technology under dynamic conditions will be confirmed during a year-long test. The team uses green electricity to split water... Read more →


Air Products, a leader in industrial gases and megaproject development, and Haldor Topsoe, a leader in high-performance catalysts and proprietary technology for the chemical and refining industries, have signed a global Alliance Agreement. The two companies will collaborate, using their extensive market network outreach for developing potential projects and the... Read more →


Swedish eMethanol startup launches crowd-funding campaign, developing commercial-scale plant

The Swedish start-up Liquid Wind recently launched a second crowdfunding campaign and has already raised 1,000,000 SEK (US$102,000). Liquid Wind is developing its first commercial-scale eMethanol facility in Sweden and plans to establish 6 facilities by 2030 before expanding internationally. The project is supported by the expertise and technology of... Read more →


Lloyd’s Register (LR) and the University Maritime Advisory Services (UMAS) have published their latest assessment of the current and future fuels available to shipping to help define the optimum solutions as the maritime industry seeks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Building on research already undertaken by LR and UMAS into... Read more →


The Methanol Institute (MI) released two new reports on the use of methanol as a safe, efficient and clean alternative fuel for cars, trucks and buses. SGS Inspire prepared a report for the Methanol Institute titled “Methanol: Properties and Uses,” providing an explanation of the main physical and chemical properties... Read more →


By investing in R&D and performing fundamental studies of the different carrier systems and their properties, Topsoe has developed a new and more robust carrier system. This system forms the basis for the new TITAN series of steam reforming catalysts. The series, launched earlier this month at the Nitrogen+Syngas Conference... Read more →


SAL Heavy Lift, a member of the Harren & Partner Group and one of the world’s leading carriers specialized in sea transport of heavy lift and project cargo, is the first shipping company in the world to adopt a new hydrogen/methanol technology to its fleet. With significant emission reductions in... Read more →


Blue World Technologies has signed a strategic cooperation agreement with China-based new energy vehicle manufacturer AIWAYS, with the purpose of supplying the market with vehicles powered by methanol fuel cells for fast refueling and long range. During the Chinese International Import Expo 2019 (CIIE 2019) in Shanghai, Blue World Technologies... Read more →


Waterfront Shipping Company Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Methanex Corporation, and Marinvest/Skagerack Invest (Marinvest) announced the delivery of two second-generation methanol fueled vessels—M/T Mari Couva and M/T Mari Kokako—to the Waterfront Shipping fleet. The 49,000 dwt vessels are built with the second generation of MAN B&W ME-LGIM two stroke... Read more →


Blue World Technologies has acquired 15% of Danish Power Systems, a developer and manufacturer of membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs) for high-temperature PEM fuel cells. Blue World Technologies will use the Danish Power Systems technology in their methanol fuel cell systems. The complete Blue World system includes the fuel cell stack,... Read more →


ETH Zürich, Total team develops new catalyst to convert CO2 and H2 directly to methanol efficiently

Scientists at ETH Zürich and oil and gas company Total have developed a new catalyst that efficiently converts CO2 and hydrogen directly into methanol. Offering realistic market potential, the technology paves the way for the sustainable production of fuels and chemicals. ETH Zürich and Total have jointly filed a patent... Read more →


Haldor Topsoe will build a 10 kg/hour methanol plant to demonstrate the company’s electrified and extremely compact eSMR Methanol technology for cost-competitive production of sustainable methanol from biogas. The eSMR Methanol technology exploits the full carbon potential of biogas by utilizing the 40% CO2 content which is routinely separated and... Read more →


BASF develops zero-CO2 production process for methanol

BASF researchers have developed a process to produce methanol without any greenhouse gas emissions. If it can be successfully implemented at an industrial scale, the entire production process – from syngas production to pure methanol – will no longer release any carbon dioxide emissions. Typically, methanol is made from syngas,... Read more →


Methanotrophic bacteria remove methane from the environment and convert it into methanol. An interdisciplinary team at Northwestern University has found that the enzyme responsible for the methane-methanol conversion catalyzes this reaction at a site that contains just one copper ion. The study is published in the journal Science. Bacteria that... Read more →


Within the scope of an agreement signed in November 2017 (earlier post), Eni and FCA have developed “A20”, a new fuel with a low level of emissions due to its 15% methanol and 5% bio-ethanol alcohol content. By harnessing its low carbon content, bio component and high octane number (RON... Read more →


Carbon Recycling International has been awarded a €1.8-million (US$2.0-million) grant under the EU Horizon 2020 Research Programme to increase the scale of its CO2-to-methanol technology, marketed under the trademark Emissions-to-Liquids (ETL). The grant will allow CRI to accelerate efforts to commercialize large scale production plants, expanding the market for ETL... Read more →


Shell will join a consortium comprising Air Liquide, Nouryon (formerly AkzoNobel Specialty Chemicals), Enerkem and the Port of Rotterdam in an effort to build Europe’s first advanced waste-to-chemicals facility in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Shell will become an equal equity partner in the proposed commercial-scale waste-to-chemicals (W2C) project, which will be... Read more →


BASF has introduced a product for the production of methanol on the basis of renewable raw materials according to the biomass balance approach. The product name is EU-REDcert-methanol. The company replaces fossil raw materials with second-generation renewable raw materials and uses waste as well as residual materials. As a result,... Read more →


KAUST team investigates methanol-DME blends for compression ignition

Highly fuel-efficient new engine designs could significantly reduce the environmental impact of combustion-engined vehicles, especially if the engines run on renewable non-petroleum-based fuels. Ensuring these unconventional fuels are compatible with next-generation engines was the aim of a new computational study on fuel ignition behavior at KAUST. A paper on their... Read more →


New photocatalyst for the hydrogenation of CO2 to methanol with high selectivity at atmospheric pressure

Researchers from Soochow University in China and the University of Toronto have developed a new photocatalyst for the hydrogenation of CO2 to methanol with 50% selectivity under simulated solar irradiation. A paper on their work appears in the journal Joule. The solar methanol production of the defect-laden indium oxide, In2O3-x(OH)y,... Read more →


For the last 18 months, a fleet of 6 methanol-fueled versions of the Geely Emgrand 7 cars have been in Iceland. Geely is a shareholder ($45.5-million investment in 2015) in Carbon Recycling International (CRI), an Icelandic company which produces renewable methanol using recycled CO2 emissions sourced from a local thermal... Read more →


Scientists develop method for direct conversion of methane to methanol or acetic acid under mild conditions

Researchers at Argonne National Laboratory, Tufts University and Oak Ridge National Laboratory have shown that mononuclear rhodium species, anchored on a zeolite or titanium dioxide support suspended in aqueous solution, can catalyze the direct conversion of methane to methanol and acetic acid using oxygen and carbon monoxide under mild conditions.... Read more →


Eni, FCA partner on R&D to cut road vehicle CO2 emissions; methanol/ethanol blends, renewable diesel, ANG, on-board CO2 capture

The chief executive of Eni, Claudio Descalzi, and the chief executive of FCA, Sergio Marchionne, signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the joint development of research projects and technological applications aimed at reducing CO2 emissions from road transport vehicles. The two companies, renewing their strategic commitment to a low-carbon future... Read more →


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... Read more →


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... Read more →


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

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... Read more →


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... Read more →


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

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... Read more →


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... Read more →


Zhejiang University team investigates emissions from methanol-gasoline blends

Globally, the use of methanol as an alternative fuel has attracted interest because of its low production cost, renewable capacity, and good combustion-related properties (higher thermal efficiency, higher engine power, and lower regulated emissions). In China in particular, there are abundant coal resources, and the technology of using coal to... Read more →


Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory scientists have combined biology and 3-D printing to create the first reactor that can continuously produce methanol from methane at room temperature and pressure. Methane monooxygenases (MMOs), found in methanotrophic bacteria, are selective catalysts for methane activation and conversion to methanol under mild conditions; however, these... Read more →


Researchers at Loker Hydrocarbon Research Institute and Department of Chemistry, University of Southern California, have developed a highly efficient homogeneous Ru-based catalyst system for the production of methanol (CH3OH) from CO2 and H2 in an ethereal solvent (initial turnover frequency = 70 h−1 at 145 °C). In a paper published... Read more →


EERC working with Fuel Cell Energy on $3.5M ARPA-E project for electrochemical cell to convert natural gas to methanol

The University of North Dakota Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC) is working with FuelCell Energy, Inc., an integrated stationary fuel cell manufacturer, to develop a durable, low-cost, and high-performance electrochemical cell to convert natural gas and other methane-rich gas into methanol, a major chemical commodity with worldwide applications in... Read more →


Researchers at Tsinghua University in China are studying the effects of Dual-Fuel Spark Ignition (DFSI) combustion fueled with different alcohols and gasoline. In one paper, published in the journal Fuel, they investigated the use of alcohols–gasoline DFSI Combustion for knock suppression and high fuel efficiency using a gasoline engine with... Read more →


Researchers at Argonne National Laboratory have identified a new material to catalyze the conversion of CO2 via hydrogenation to methanol (CH3OH): size-selected Cu4 clusters—clusters of four copper atoms each, called tetramers—supported on Al2O3 thin films. In a study published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, the team measured... Read more →


Zhejiang Geely Holding Group (Geely Group) will invest a total of US$45.5 million in Carbon Recycling International (CRI). The investment consists of an initial investment and additional purchases of CRI equity over a 3-year period. Geely Group will become a major shareholder of CRI and will gain representation on the... Read more →


Hydrogenics to supply 1MW electrolyzer to project converting CO2 to methanol; Power-to-Gas

Hydrogenics Corporation will supply a 1MW electrolyzer and provide engineering expertise to a consortium of companies working on the European project MefCO2 (methanol fuel from CO2) in Germany. The application will take excess electricity from intermittent renewable energy sources, generate green hydrogen, and then create methanol using a low-carbon footprint... Read more →


Researchers ID structure of key intermediate in enzyme converting methane to methanol; potential for synthetic fuels

A team from the University of Minnesota and Michigan State University has identified the structure of the key intermediate “Q” in the enzyme methane monooxygenase (MMO). MMO catalyzes the O2-dependent conversion of methane to methanol in methanotrophic bacteria, thereby preventing the emission into the atmosphere of approximately one billion tons... Read more →


UCLA researchers develop synthetic biocatalytic pathway for more efficient conversion of methanol to longer-chain fuels

Researchers at the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science led by Dr. James Liao have developed a more efficient way to turn methanol into useful chemicals, such as liquid fuels, and that would also reduce carbon dioxide emissions. The UCLA team constructed a synthetic biocatalytic pathway that... Read more →