Methanol, needed in industry as a chemical building block (plastics, solvents, additives) and as transportation fuel, has been traditionally produced from coal or natural gas, dependent on fossil fuels (limited supply), contaminating land (mining, drilling) and emitting CO2 to the atmosphere (global warming effect). Nowadays, crop-based biofuels are also used with the same purposes, but consume huge water and land resources for their production.
Carbon Recycling International (CRI), founded in 2006 in Iceland, produces renewable methanol (currently 4 kt/year in the George Olah plant) from industrial CO2 emissions and Renewable Energy Sources (RES), through a novel process of clean fuel production (Vulcanol®). This proprietary technology is called Emissions–to-Liquids (ETL) and is certified ISCC Plus by the International Sustainability and Carbon Certification system. While conventional production of methanol emits up to 4 t CO2/t methanol, our ETL plant fights global warming by consuming 1.4 t CO2/t of Vulcanol® produced and requires approximately 1500 times less land and up to 15,000 less water than crop based biofuel, eradicating ethical concerns about competition between biofuels and human food production. Vulcanol® is an efficient energy carrier that can be used to easily store and transport off-peak renewable energy, stabilizing the power grid and supporting expansion of RES. ETL helps to fulfil stricter EU regulations regarding the use of advanced renewable fuels and RES; improves air quality in industrial areas, thus, health of their population and employees and supports employment creation (25 skilled jobs per ETL plant). During this phase 2, CRI aims to a) scale up the technology and adapt ETL plants to economically operate with RES, b) to attract investment to build and operate ETL plants and c) to close distribution agreements for the produced Vulcanol®, which by 2024 will provide an annual profit of €95.4 million and an 8.2 years payback.
Fields of science
- engineering and technologyenvironmental engineeringenergy and fuelsrenewable energy
- engineering and technologyenvironmental engineeringenergy and fuelsfossil energynatural gas
- engineering and technologyelectrical engineering, electronic engineering, information engineeringelectrical engineeringpower engineeringelectric power transmission
- natural scienceschemical sciencesorganic chemistryalcohols
- engineering and technologyindustrial biotechnologybiomaterialsbiofuels
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