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Converting CO2 to methanol via steel production to power marine transport

Technology

Methanol has been touted as a potential climate-friendly ‘fuel of the future’ since the late 1980s, but its use in the transport sector remains limited. The possibility of generating it from CO2 has recently rekindled interest. 

The steel industry and maritime sector are two of the world’s biggest emitters of CO2, accounting for as much as 8 % and 2.5 % of CO2 emissions, respectively. So, what if a novel conversion technology designed specifically for steel mill power plants could kill two birds with one stone?

Such a technology – or rather, combination of technologies – now exists thanks to efforts under the EU-funded FReSMe project. The project successfully combined an innovative CO2 capture technology with an advanced methanol synthesis process. “It all takes place during the steel-making process. Several gaseous streams are generated and are normally combusted in the steel mill power plant or used for power production. This process results in large amounts of CO2 emissions,” says David Cuesta Pardo, coordinator of the project on behalf of Everis subsidiary I-Deals. “With FReSMe, we can recycle CO2 and turn it into methanol, which is more valuable than the electricity you would be producing instead. Any excess CO2 not used for methanol production is made ready for transport and storage, which enables a deep decarbonisation of steel-making.”

The methanol produced by FReSMe happens to be a promising alternative to marine fossil fuel. It’s generally acknowledged as safe, cost-effective, widely available and clean. It can significantly reduce the sector’s emissions of sulfur oxides, nitrogen oxides and particulate matter, and can help the sector meet future emission regulations without requiring heavy investment by shipowners.

Read the full article (NL) at: https://ec.europa.eu/research-and-innovation/en/projects/success-stories/all/converting-co2-methanol-steel-production-power-marine-transport

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