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Production of renewable methanol from captured emissions and renewable energy sources, for its utilisation for clean fuel production and green consumer goods

Periodic Reporting for period 5 - Circlenergy (Production of renewable methanol from captured emissions and renewable energy sources, for its utilisation for clean fuel production and green consumer goods)

Okres sprawozdawczy: 2021-01-01 do 2021-06-30

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®
During the first period, work began for engineering and execution of a commercial plant, including assessment of potential equipment suppliers, risk analysis and assessment of insurance requirements. Changes required to CRI’s pilot plant were also assessed and designed and the patent application process commenced. Negotiations with a strong strategic partner have progressed far and an agreement was expected to be signed during next period.
In the second period, design progressed and possible sites for an ETL plant were identified and evaluated. A strategic partnership was established with a leading organization in Europe. Other partnerships aimed at facilitating the Circlenergy project goals were developed with a positive outlook. Patent work progressed to ensure filing of patent in third period.
During the third period, the project was impacted by two key issues: COVID-19 pandemic and it became apparent the CRI would not be able to conduct test at GO plant as originally planned (Task 2.2). However, despite these two issues the project progressed considerably with design, with further development of Process Flow Diagrams (PFDs), to include more technical detail regarding process design and the process control. The team also managed to secure an agreement between CRI, Statkraft and site owner in Northern Norway. Furthermore, a provisional patent application was filed at the USPTO under application number 62965605.
CRI’s collaboration with Statkraft and Finnfjord AS on the development of a commercial e-methanol plant in Northern Norway was made public during the fourth period. In October and November 2020, the Norwegian and Icelandic media along with European energy and industry focused media platforms published articles and news announcing this important milestone, with analysis and comments on the project. In spite of the various COVID-19 restriction making traditional meetings and traveling near impossible, the Commercial- and Business Case development of Circlenergy made important advancements during the latter half of 2020, with continuous remote discussions with both investment and funding organizations as well as offtake- and utility providers and landowners.
The front-end engineering and design of a brownfield commercial scale ETL plant were advanced and ready to be finalized and issued once the outcome of the validation is available.
During the final period the verification of design through modelling and simulation were completed, as well as the front-end engineering design of a brownfield commercial scale ETL plant was finalized. Commercial development of Circlenergy continued, despite travel restrictions due to COVID-19. Discussions with both investment and funding organisations, as well as potential offtakers were progressed significantly with the objective of reaching critical agreements by end of the year. Statkraft, Finnfjord and CRI are working closely together with the objective of an ETL plant startup in Finnfjord in 2024. Key suppliers have been identified and evaluated for the commercial rollout of ETL plants.
During the whole project, communication and information activities have been implemented to improve visibility of Circlenergy project and its achievements.
CRI and the Circlenergy team are pleased to announce a successful completion and close-out of the Circlenergy project where all WPs, Tasks and Deliverables have been completed according to specifications.
The objective of the Circlenergy Project is to advance CRI’s ETL technology to have the capabilities to economically operate with RES. This development allows for positive societal impact through support to expansion of RES and fighting 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.
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). The Vulcanol® produced can replace fossil-based methanol in the chemical and fuel market.
By the end of the fifth and final reporting period, CRI and the Circlenergy team are pleased to announce a successful completion and close-out of the Circlenergy project where all WPs, Tasks and Deliverables have been completed according to specifications.
In line with the established objectives of the Circlenergy project, CRI’s future ETL plans will capitalize on untapped renewable energy resources and work at industrial scale to position CRI as a cost-effective solution to valorize and store intermittent electricity through the production of green premium methanol at a competitive price. CRI is ready to accelerate its efforts on full scale system development such as the 100 kt/yr ETL plant in Finnfjord in Norway, scheduled for Final Investment Decision in the first half of 2022 en-route its mission of operating 500kt/a ETL plants by 2024. Each of such 500kt/a ETL plants will capture and utilise 750kt/a CO2 and while generating approximately 150-200 new direct job opportunities.
Circlenergy video screenshots
3D rendered images of a conceptual 100KT/Y ETL Plant
Visual Diagram of CRI's Emissions to Liquids process
3D rendered images of a conceptual 100KT/Y ETL Plant
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