Industrial methanol production from renewable energy
The carbon dioxide emitted when burning fossil fuel is captured, purified, blended with hydrogen into a catalyst to be transformed into methanol. This technology exists and is currently developed in Iceland. The hydrogen is obtained by electrolysis of water, and therefore a corresponding amount of oxygen is released in the process. This oxygen is used as a comburant to burn waste and biomass to obtain syngas , a process known as oxycombustion. The method of oxycombustion here described is new, very efficient and can deliver energy of 2 MWh per ton of waste. It is currently developed in the north of France.
The syngas thus obtained is incorporated into the catalyst to further enhance its performance and thus lowering the cost of production of methanol. As a first application the methanol could be blended with gasoline (5%), to increase engine efficiency and lower carbon emission without any need to modify existing structures of distribution.
Ideally this system would mean a close to zero emission and a significant reduction of carbon dioxide emission. Besides, this process would virtually eliminate the need for landfills, thus gaining municipal space while reducing pollution both in the air and in the ground.