Methanol is already a widely used raw material for industrial applications, but its current production is mostly based on fossil sources. However, it is also possible to produce methanol from biomass or from green hydrogen and captured CO2. This is called green methanol.
The CCU technology (Carbon Capture and Utilisation) that can be used to convert CO2 into green methanol is one of the most mature CCU technologies. Investments are also planned in Flanders that will enable production of green methanol by CCU.
Green methanol as a climate-neutral fuel has a number of interesting properties. It is liquid at ambient temperature, has a high energy density, and greatly reduces emissions of nitrogen components (NOx), sulfur components (SOx) and particulate matter. Because of its chemical properties, green methanol can be transported, stored and refueled in a manner very similar to conventional fossil fuels. Green methanol can be gradually introduced into the internal combustion engine, which is important for feed and watercraft or equipment with a long service life.
With this project, VIL and UGent want to investigate the role green methanol can play in making specific ‘heavy duty’ logistics applications more sustainable, such as inland navigation, rail, specific port activities and cargo handling. It is essential that the technical possibilities of green methanol can be fitted into the operational needs of companies within the economic context in which they operate.