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Innovation Outlook | Renewable Methanol

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Charley Rattan's picture
World Hydrogen Leader Charley Rattan Associates

UK based offshore wind & hydrogen corporate advisor and trainer; Faculty member World Hydrogen Leaders. Delivering global hydrogen and offshore wind corporate investment advice, business...

  • Member since 2019
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  • Oct 18, 2022

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Renewable methanol:


• Renewable methanol can be produced using renewable energy and renewable feedstocks via two routes: • Bio-methanol is produced from biomass. Key potential sustainable biomass feedstocks include: forestry and agricultural waste and by-products, biogas from landfill, sewage, municipal solid waste (MSW) and black liquor from the pulp and paper industry. • Green e-methanol is obtained by using CO2 captured from renewable sources (bioenergy with carbon capture and storage [BECCS] and direct air capture [DAC]) and green hydrogen, i.e. hydrogen produced with renewable electricity. • Less than 0.2 Mt of renewable methanol is produced annually, mostly as bio-methanol.

The methanol produced by either route is chemically identical to methanol produced from fossil fuel sources. • Interest in renewable methanol is being driven by the need to mitigate climate change by substantially reducing or eliminating CO2 emissions, and in particular by the growing focus on holding the average global temperature rise to no more than 1.5°C. This implies achieving net carbon neutral emissions across all sectors of the economy by mid-century. • Low-emission methanol could play a larger role in decarbonising certain sectors where options are currently limited – particularly as a feedstock in the chemical industry or as a fuel in road or marine transport.


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