Power generation sector to fuel demand for renewable methanol

10:27 AM, 20th January 2021
Increasing recognition of the threat showcased of man-made climate change has driven government institutions and industries world over to find cleaner fuel alternatives to power economic activity.

When compared to conventional fuels, renewable methanol helps in cutting down carbon dioxide emissions by nearly 95 percent, reduces nitrogen oxide emissions by 80 percent, and eliminates sulfur oxide and particulate matter emissions. Increasing recognition of the threat showcased of man-made climate change has driven government institutions and industries world over to find cleaner fuel alternatives to power economic activity.

In this context, the global renewable methanol market has witnessed considerable recognition over the last few years. Methanol, in its original form, is the world’s most commonly shipped chemical product with more than 95 billion liters being produced annually. Since it remains liquid even at ambient temperature and pressure, the infrastructure needed to deploy it as a fuel is in place: fuel cells, combustion engines, and power blocks which could easily and economically be adapted to methanol.

The industry players are working towards improving the compound quality to meet the growing needs of various sectors for sustainable solutions. For instance, in March 2019, Canadian company Enerkem along with Royal Dutch Shell joined two other firms and the Port of Rotterdam in a commercial project that aims at converting non-recyclable waste items into biofuels and chemicals.

This one-of-a-kind project in Europe aims at converting approximately 36 million tons of waste into 270 million liters of bio-methanol which can be further used to manufacture a wide range of everyday products, along with being a renewable fuel.

Other leading renewable methanol companies striving to enhance the product offerings include Carbon Recycling International Inc, BASF SE, Mitsubishi Chemicals, Varmsland Methanol, Chemrec AB and BioMCN Blue Fuel Energy, to name a few.

Use of biomass in the production process

Renewable methanol is made from different sources like biomass municipal waste, industrial waste, and others. However, biomass is popularly used in the production process as they are cost-effective when compared to other sources. Materials required to produce methanol through biomass include forest residue, tree crops, crop residues, and other types of forage crops. This methanol variant may also be developed through a thermochemical technique known as gasification.  

Increasing demand for electricity  

The escalating demand for power has supported the demand for bio-methanol as the world is looking for ways to reduce its dependence on conventional fuels. The industrial and residential developments in both developed, as well as developing countries, has amplified the need for power over time. As per European Commission, in 2018, the total net electricity generated in Europe stood at 2800 TWh.

The coronavirus outbreak in 2020 has driven the demand for electricity due to a considerable increase in the ‘working from home’ population that requires continuous and reliable electricity flow to ensure the completion of work. Additionally, the developments in the healthcare industry to meet the intensive medical needs of those affected by the virus, such as the use of ventilators, have outlined the need for increased power generation.

Certain benefits of the use of renewable methanol in power generation techniques include the ability to provide utility fuel flexibility along with the ease of access at the site. Moreover, methanol’s low lubricity, low heating value and reduced flash point make it a viable turbine fuel option as compared to natural gas and distillate. Many companies belonging to different industries are switching to methanol for power generation.

The high cost of the product along with the lack of appropriate infrastructure which is needed to carry out the production process may act as a hindrance to the global renewable methanol market growth in the near future. Moreover, mass unavailability of the required agricultural feedstock which is to be used in the production of bioethanol and biogas may affect the access to this fuel.

Strict environmental norms in Europe

The European authorities have established stringent rules with an aim to control the emission levels. The European Green Deal, the commission in September 2020, proposed to increase the 2030 greenhouse gas emission reduction target to at least 55 percent when compared to the 1990 targets. Rules across the region to use renewable fuel in industries such as transportation has complemented the regional biofuel production.

In a nutshell, a wide application spectrum of renewable methanol along with the environmental benefits associated with its use has encouraged the governments and private companies to inject funds into the production and adoption of renewable methanol.

Rising concerns over carbon dioxide levels and the consequent rules established by various countries to control it have glorified the use of bio-methanol in areas like electricity generation, transportation and construction all of which are extremely important to fuel economic growth.

Renewable Methanol market size, industry analysis report, regional outlook, application development potential, price trends, competitive market share & forecast, 2020 – 2026 in detail on the link - https://www.gminsights.com/request-sample/detail/4151

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Arun Hegde
Corporate Sales, USA
Global Market Insights Inc.
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