What is methanol?
Methanol is a colourless, water-soluble liquid that has a mild alcoholic odour, because of these properties it is also known as wood spirit. Methanol is an important raw material for the chemical industry as well as the future energy and fuel industry. It is a popular chemical, and it is one of the most transported chemicals in the world, as it is used to make glue, biodiesel and pesticides, among other things. Methanol degrades naturally in nature and can be diluted with water for larger leaks.
Methanol is an important product from the Power-to-X process as it can be produced with renewable energy. Today, most methanol is produced by steam reforming natural gas, but by combining hydrogen from electrolysis and CO2 from biogas or other emitting sources in a catalytic process, methanol can be produced sustainably.
Methanol is promising as a future fuel as it has excellent combustion properties. Despite the fact that it has an energy density, approx. half of gasoline, it has a higher octane rating than gasoline, allowing for a higher compression ratio and increased combustion efficiency.
Methanol can be used directly in an internal combustion engine with minor modifications, or it can be blended with gasoline to produce a high-octane and efficient fuel with lower emissions than conventional gasoline. In addition to the apparent potential of an internal combustion engine, methanol is also considered a promising marine fuel.
Due to the vast experience of handling and storing methanol, it can be integrated relatively easily into the current infrastructure for the transport sector.