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Methanol has An Historic Opportunity as a Marine Fuel On Tuesday, FCBI Energy released a new Methanol Institute commissioned report titled Methanol as a Marine Fuel.   The report finds that methanol is abundant, biodegradable, emissions compliant,...

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Indonesia Expands Partnership Involving Methanol Fuel... Singapore-headquartered green energy solutions company Cascadiant Pte Ltd and Indonesia's agency for the Assessment and Application of Technology (Badan Pengkajian dan Penerapan Teknologi (BPPT)) announced...

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NewCO2Fuels Develops Carbon-Reducing, Fuel-Replacement... For an Israeli start-up, one answer to global warming is blowing in the wind. The company called NewCO2Fuels, or NCF, has been developing its own version of a technology that allows heat-trapping carbon...

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MI Joins the Consumer Energy Alliance   Houston, Texas - MI has joined the Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA).   CEA is the voice of the energy consumer and provides consumers with sound, unbiased information on U.S. and global...

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Marius Aasen Wins GEM Fuel Powered DMACK Fiesta Rally... Marius Aasen landed the biggest prize in rallying on October 25, as he won the Drive DMACK Fiesta Trophy in style. Victory at the final race of the five-event season, in Spain, saw 23-year-old Aasen and...

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Methanol has “An Historic Opportunity” as a Marine Fuel


Category : General

On Tuesday, FCBI Energy released a new Methanol Institute commissioned report titled Methanol as a Marine Fuel.


The report finds that methanol is abundant, biodegradable, emissions compliant, available globally and current bunkering infrastructure only requires minor modifications to handle methanol as a marine fuel.

The Methanol Institute’s CEO Gregory Dolan noted: “Traditionally one of the world’s most widely shipped chemical commodities, methanol now has an historic opportunity to move from ship’s cargo holds to their fuel bunkers. As this report documents, methanol’s use as a marine fuel provides shippers and port facilities with an affordable option for compliance with tightening emission requirements. Produced from a wide range of feedstocks – including a variety of renewable pathways – methanol provides an ideal pathway to sustainable shipping.”


FCBI Marine Report CoverIt was noted that earlier this year a large Ro-Pax ship, Stena Germanica, was converted by Stena Line to use methanol bunkers.


In the report’s Forward, Carl-Johan Hagman, CEO of Stena Line stated: “The handling and installation of a liquid like methanol had clear advantages over gas or cryogenic fuels regarding fuel storage and bunkering.”


Hagman noted that the new methanol report should “raise awareness of this marine fuel and serve as an important source of facts to anyone looking for a greener shipping fuel.”


The report is authored by Professor Karin Andersson of the Department of Shipping and Marine Technology at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden.


The report covers topics such as methanol’s compliance with legislation, costs of ship conversion, methanol supply, and environmental impacts.  The Methanol as a Marine Fuel report is available as a free download HERE.  More information from ShipandBunker is available here.

Indonesia Expands Partnership Involving Methanol Fuel Cells


Category : General

Cascadient Fuel CellSingapore-headquartered green energy solutions company Cascadiant Pte Ltd and Indonesia’s agency for the Assessment and Application of Technology (Badan Pengkajian dan Penerapan Teknologi (BPPT)) announced on Tuesday an expanded R&D partnership supported by integrated methanol fuel cells and wind turbine solutions.

Cascadiant and BPPT will launch a second research facility in Indonesia’s new Baron Jogyakarta Technopark. Cascadiant will deploy its methanol fuel cell solutions, while integrating them with wind turbine applications.  This solution – which utilizes 100% Indonesian-produced methanol – was developed as an off-grid, clean energy application for the project.  Dr. Eniya Listiani Dewi, BPPT’s Deputy Chairperson of Technology for Agroindustry and Biotechnology (TAB), commented to the media: “…we are hoping to reduce Indonesia’s industrial use of diesel generators for back-up power and move toward green energy sources that generate power from domestically-produced feed stocks, such as hydrogen and methanol.”  More information can be found here.

NewCO2Fuels Develops Carbon-Reducing, Fuel-Replacement Reactor


Category : General

NewCO2Fuels ReactorFor an Israeli start-up, one answer to global warming is blowing in the wind.

The company called NewCO2Fuels, or NCF, has been developing its own version of a technology that allows heat-trapping carbon dioxide emissions to be captured and recycled back into useable fuel.

It sounds complicated – and it is – but the company’s founders say it holds real potential in the fight against global warming.

Such capture technologies have gained increased attention as countries seek alternative methods of cutting back on greenhouse gas emissions, the main culprit in global warming.

“Our concept is to take the residue from the production of CO2 along with heat produced in industries and turn them into profit,” chief executive David Banitt said of the company located in Rehovot, south of Tel Aviv.

The company is attempting to position itself in a new market offering what has come to be known as carbon capture, utilization and storage technologies.

A global race has been underway to develop such industrial-scale solutions. NCF hopes to begin offering its technology commercially before 2018 and estimates the global market at a potential $24 billion annually.

On a top floor of a building at Rehovot’s Weizmann Institute of Science, the NCF team has been carrying out work on its prototype involving a solar power plant capable of producing  syngas from CO2, water and heat.

The syngas can then be used to create synthetic fuels. A field of solar panels surrounds the building along with a mirror to heat the reactor to more than 1,000 degrees Celsius (1,832 Fahrenheit). Within the reactor, the CO2 and water is used to produce the syngas, said Uzi Aharoni, the company’s head of operations.

The idea is for the technology to be used by plants that emit heat and CO2, such as steel or coal gasification plants.  The CO2 would be captured instead of being sent into the atmosphere, then transformed back into fuel – a hi-tech recycling machine.  More information can be found here.

MI Joins the Consumer Energy Alliance


Category : General


CEA logoHouston, Texas – MI has joined the Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA).


CEA is the voice of the energy consumer and provides consumers with sound, unbiased information on U.S. and global energy issues. CEA affiliates comprise a range of sectors from the energy industry, academia, small businesses, conservation groups and travel-related industries.


MI’s Greg Dolan noted “Methanol is employed around the globe in a number of innovative applications to meet our growing demands for energy.  Methanol is a clean energy option that can be produced from natural gas, coal and a number of renewable resources including biomass and CO2.” “MI is pleased to join CEA and to have this opportunity to highlight methanol’s advantages as an emerging energy resource.”


“CEA is pleased to have the Methanol Institute as its newest member,” said CEA Chief Operating Officer Andrew Browning. “The resurgence in North American methanol production well illustrates the link between our manufacturing renaissance and newly realized shale gas production. With CEA’s ‘all-of-the-above’ energy approach, we look forward to working with MI and its member companies to educate the public on methanol’s energy potential as well as its importance to key sectors of our economy.” The full press release welcoming MI is available on CEA’s website here.

Marius Aasen Wins GEM Fuel Powered DMACK Fiesta Rally Title


Category : General

MaxMarius Aasen landed the biggest prize in rallying on October 25, as he won the Drive DMACK Fiesta Trophy in style. Victory at the final race of the five-event season, in Spain, saw 23-year-old Aasen and his co-driver Veronica Engan finish on top of the championship podium. This followed a thrilling battle with his rivals, which went right down to the wire.  Aasen’s Fiesta R5 was powered by sustainable GEM (Gasoline-Ethanol-Methanol) Fuel, and sponsored by MI and MI members Methanex and OCI N.V.

Seven crews were in with a mathematical chance of winning the title heading into the mixed surface RallyRACC-Rally de Espana. Aasen, from Norway, who led by five points going into the final event, took a gigantic stride towards the top prize as he finished the gravel section on Friday night ahead of his fellow drivers.

And as the action switched to Tarmac roads around the host town of Salou on Saturday and Sunday, he kept his nose in front. Aasen was ultra-consistent and also posted some super quick times as he pulled away from his rivals and took the chequered flag. More information can be found here.  A video of the full season’s highlights can be viewed here

Patent Issued for CO2 to Methanol Process


Category : General

A patent related to the high-pressure hydrogenation of carbon dioxide to methanol and derivatives process developed by Dr. Urakawa Research Group at the Institute of Chemical Research of Catalonia (ICIQ) has been issued by the United States Patent and Trademark Office.


Patent_CO2conversionThe work, published in the Journal of Catalysis and highlighted in Science, describes a continuous flow process for close-to-quantitative one-pass hydrogenation of CO2 to methanol where conventional and commercial methanol synthesis catalysts are used.


CO2 is the primary greenhouse gas emitted through human activities and is largely responsible for climate change. Therefore, devising a strategy to mitigate CO2 concentration in the atmosphere has become one of the most important challenges of this century. A good strategy, and the one followed by Urakawa’s team, is the CO2 capture, fixation and conversion into valuable products for the chemical industry. The process developed allows a highly productive conversion of CO2 to methanol achieving close to full one pass conversion. The process also has the advantage that further reactions, such as DME production, can be successfully carried out in the same reactor. Having in mind that methanol production worldwide is expected to pass from 40 million tons per year in 2009 to 80 million tons/year in 2016, this process is a great step towards methanol production from non-fossil resources.


As Dr. Urakawa says: “The patent grants us exclusivity in performing challenging conversion of CO2 to methanol under very productive reaction conditions. The fact that the patent has been granted in the US gives us a strong confidence about the significance of our technology. We will keep making our best efforts towards scale-up and commercialization of our methanol process, hopefully with enthusiastic external partners. In the long run, we wish to greatly contribute in shifting the paradigm in chemical energy carriers, from fossil fuels to a more sustainable one like methanol by which the carbon cycle can be well-closed.”  More information can be found here.

MI-LIAM Education Programs Featured at 2015 Nephrology Conference


Category : General

Lhani Davies LIAMMandano, North Sulawesi, Indonesia – Lhani Davies and the LIAM Indonesia team were featured presenters at the 2015 PERNEFRI Conference in Mandao.  The LIAM team presented at the annual nephrology conference last year in Jakarta.

Nephrology is a medical field specializing in kidney related areas and treatment, including haemodialysis, which is critical toward the successful treatment of methanol poisoning caused from consumption of adulterated alcoholic beverages and spirits.  Funding from MI members through the 2015 Medical Education Program (MEP) grant enabled Lhani and medical experts working with LIAM in Indonesia to present on methanol poisoning, ethanol treatment, and dialysis to more than 1,500 medical specialists from around the country.

This conference has provided tremendous exposure for MI and LIAM to educate medical specialists across Indonesia on how to identify and treat methanol poisonings.  LIAM will seek to secure a similar speaking opportunity at the 2016 PERNEFRI Conference.

PNNL Develops Solar-Powered Steam-Methane Reformer


Category : General


Pacific Northwest National LaboratoryThe Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) reports the development of a solar-powered steam-methane reformer (SMR) that sits at the focal point of a parabolic dish solar concentrator.  Both the SMR and associated heat exchanger for transferring energy from products to reactants use millimeter size flow channels to enhance heat and mass transfer rates, resulting in very compact design.  The benchtop reactor and heat exchangers are capable of producing approximately 170 kg of syngas per day.
The compact size of the SMR not only allows it to be located at the focal point of a parabolic dish, but significantly reduces the amount of expensive metal alloys used in its construction compared to an SMR using the larger flow channels of more conventional designs.  Based on manufacturing cost estimates for their initial prototype, the resulting system is capable of converting solar energy into chemical energy at a cost comparable to projected natural gas prices with existing solar investment tax credits.


Pacific Northwest National Laboratory 2While the ability to capture solar energy at a cost competitive with natural gas was considered worthy of an R&D 100 award last year, the syngas created obviously has greater value as a feedstock for making hydrogen, methanol, and other derivative products.  The same design approach could just as easily be used for a natural gas-fired SMR.  Preliminary economic analysis of a natural gas-fired version suggests that its unit capital cost ($/kg/day) would be competitive with industrial scale SMRs 10,000 times larger.
PNNL is currently in the third and final year of a development project co-funded by the Department of Energy and a natural gas company.  Fabrication and testing of an improved prototype will occur later this summer as well as updates to the prior manufacturing cost study and economic analysis.  PNNL is also looking for potential partners interested in developing a natural gas-fired version of the technology.  Interested parties should contact Daryl Brown (daryl.brown@pnnl.gov) for further information.


[1] PNNL is operated by Battelle Memorial Institute for the U.S. Department of Energy

[2] http://www.rdmag.com/award-winners/2014/08/2014-r-d-100-award-winners

Trophy Battle to Heat up at Finland Rally


Category : General

Finland RallyAfter two fiercely contested opening rounds of the 2015 Trophy series, sponsored in part by MI and MI member companies Methanex and OCI, crews are gearing up for a high speed third outing this weekend (31 July to 2 August) at the spiritual home of rallying. Stomach-churning gravel roads lie in store for drivers and their co-pilots in Finland, where a huge number of spectators will flock to the event based in the university town of Jyväskylä.

Experience could prove crucial on the wide and smooth gravel roads which feature blind crests and rollercoaster jumps. In addition, there are forest roads which feature a mix of hard base and more technical soft sections, making accurate pace notes, defining the lines over huge jumps, essential. In a way DDFT Finland will be the first methanol powered commercial flight!

Finland, being the spiritual home of rallying, is also the amongst the first countries, to explore the future of the sport and discuss how rallying can contribute to safe and sustainable future. Talks have been held between the Finnish ASN and GUTTS to explore renewable fuel options in the future. With GEM Fuel becoming the new standard in renewable fuel options for racing series across Europe it was defined as one of the ‘drop in’ possibilities for Finnish motorsport to reduce their carbon footprint quickly and easily.

The methanol portion in GEM Fuel is a CO2 derived Methanol produced by CRI in Iceland, with a CO2 reduction of 97%.  More information can be found at http://gutts.nl

DME Qualifies for Alternative Fuel Vehicle Financial Incentives in First U.S. State


Category : General

Volvo_DME_truck_6 (1280x860)Washington State Governor Jay Inslee has signed into law a transportation investment package providing financial incentives for the purchase of commercial vehicles using a “clean alternative fuel” and that specifies dimethyl ether as one of the alternative fuels that qualify for such benefits.

The legislation provides businesses with tax credits for the purchase or conversion of vehicles that are “principally powered” by a clean alternative fuel.  The bill includes dimethyl ether in the definition of “clean alternative fuel”, along with methane, natural gas, LNG, CNG, propane, hydrogen, and electricity.  More information is available from the International DME Association (IDA) here.