How is methanol produced?

As one of the most flexible sources of energy known today, methanol is both easy and cheap to produce.

There are several ways to produce methanol:

  • Black methanol is produced from coal. It is, as the name implies, not an environmentally friendly production method.
  • Grey methanol is produced from waste and by-products. It’s renewable to the extent that it’s produced from renewable by-products. If, however, it isn’t produced from renewable sources, it cannot be regarded as green and sustainable methanol.
  • Green methanol is produced in various ways, all of which are CO2 neutral.
    • Bio-mass: Produced from bio-mass or the biodegradable part of productional waste products, such as wood.
    • Syngas: Produced from excess wind power generation, which is contained in a liquid form in methanol and converted into energy. This method is called green methanol synthesis.

Global production

More than 90 methanol plants produce methanol all over the world. They have a combined production capacity of about 110 million metric tons (138 billion liters).

Every day, almost 200,000 tons of methanol is used as a chemical feedstock or as a transportation fuel (254 million liters). The methanol industry employs more than 90,000 people.

Below is listed some Renewable Methanol production facilities:

Carbon Recycling International – Iceland

Producing 2nd generation methanol from geosynthesis.

Carbon capture combined with renewable hydrogen equals methanol.

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 BioMCN – The Netherlands

Production of 2nd generation methanol from biogas.

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Chemrec – Sweden

Production of 2nd generation methanol from forrest waste.

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Produces 2nd generation methanol from municipal solid waste (e.g. gabage).

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