Press Release: Europe’s First Methanol Filling Station

The consortium Green Methanol Infrastructure is ready to open the first methanol refueling station in Europe. The consortium is a cooperation between Danish petrol company OK a.m.b.a., Hamag and Serenergy. The refueling station will be located in Aalborg, Denmark and will open 26 August.

The refueling station with address on Hobrovej in Aalborg will open as part of the project under the Danish Energy Agency. The goal is to develop a refueling infrastructure for methanol, which will use the current infrastructure for distribution and refueling of sustainable liquid fuels for transportation, such as methanol.

This could be tomorrow’s fuel

By 2050 Denmark must be free of fossil fuels. The major question is what is going to replace the fossil fuels. Methanol is one among many possibilities, but the advantage is, that it is a liquid and environmentally friendly fuel, which makes it possible to utilize the infrastructure we have spent more than 100 years of developing. Because methanol is a liquid – like the fuels we already know today –it is easy to handle within the existing infrastructure. It can be transported in the same tanker trucks and pumped in the same way as petrol and diesel.Methanol, in liquid form, is therefore much easier to distribute than hydrogen for instance, which must be contained under high pressure.

Solutions to the limitations of the electrical car

With regards to green conversion in the transport sector, there is a major focus on electrical cars. However, one of the major challenges about electrical cars is their limited reach, which currently makes long trips difficult. This problem can be solved by the new technology, which makes it possible to extend the range of any electrical car by means of a methanol driven fuel cell. ”The methanol fuel cell we have developed at Serenergy can solve the problem of limited reach for electrical cars”, says Mads Friis Jensen, Commercial Group Manager at Serenergy, and he adds: ”The fuel cell works as a range extender and in principle it can, be installed in any electrical vehicle. By refueling with liquid methanol to power the fuel cell, the reach of the car is extended significantly.”

The relatively low investment required to establish a methanol filling point network compared to other energy sources is significant to OK. “This hybrid solution is our way of including the electrical car into the transport sector, and we believe that this is one of many ways. We do not want to single out one final winner among the future’s energy technologies for the transport sector, on the contrary we believe that we are going to see more than one technology.”, says Jørgen Wisborg, Managing Director at OK.

Focus on the environment, user-friendliness and economy

At OK, we are focused on finding out how to employ sustainable energy sources to replace fossil fuels”, says Jørgen Wisborg and continues: ”One of the advantages of using methanol is that we can use it in our current distribution system, which is familiar to our consumers. The future refueling station is operated in the exact same way as a traditional refueling station, where you drive up to the fuel pump and insert the pump into the closed circuit and fill up in the exact same way as in a regular filling station”. With methanol, the consumers will be able to refuel in the exact same easy and secure way as they always have.

We believe, that initially it is sensible to consider reusing the extensive infrastructure and experience, we already have instead of constructing a brand new infrastructure. This way we are both environmentally conscious and financially responsible, since this will save a lot of money and resources”, says Jørgen Wisborg from OK.

Green Methanol from Iceland

The green methanol is produced by one of the world’s largest producers of green methanol, Carbon Recycling International (CRI) from Iceland. The green methanol, known as Vulcanol, is produced from CO2, recycled from the industry and hydrogen from renewable energy and is therefore 100% fossil free. The opening of the methanol refueling station is followed closely by Canadian company, Methanex Corporation, the world’s largest producer and supplier of methanol. According to Methanex, methanol has great potential in the European energy sector as a sustainable, clean-burning, cost-competitive alternative fuel and energy resource. The companies behind the opening of the methanol refueling station will give a demonstration of methanol driven vehicles and show various solutions of transportation for passengers, such as retrofitted electrical cars, as well as auxiliaries.

Worth knowing about methanol driven electrical cars with built-in fuel cells and refueling stations

  • A methanol driven electrical car is a modern hybrid car, which runs on green methanol, which is transformed into electricity in a fuel cell and without particle emissions.
  • A methanol driven electrical car can run up to 800 kilometers on one filling. With methanol as fuel we can use the refueling infrastructure, we already know today with liquid fuels. Obtaining a short refueling time,longer range and lower fuel prices, have all been taken into account.
  • Methanol is already very common today and used as components of industrial products and in China methanol stands for approximately 10% of the fuel consumption. The advantage of methanol is that it is very simple and easy to produce.
  • Methanol can be produced from a wide range of feedstock – from biomass to garbage. Methanol is therefore an existing and a realistic replacement of fossil fuel.