Green Methanol: Climate Changer Through Chemical Tech
Methanol is the basis of many chemical products but also contained in all sorts of other products such as petrol and plastics. The current methanol production process requires large amounts of fossil fuel for heating, leading to high CO₂ emissions. Now, C1 Green Chemicals AG in Berlin has developed proprietary methanol technology and found a competitive way to produce methanol from non-fossil sources. Their aim is the de-fossilization of the carbon-based chemical industry. Paua Ventures and Planet A Ventures are backing this green methanol, which could be instrumental in reducing CO₂ emissions by gigatons per year. “Quantum chemistry is opening a new chapter here and becoming more important as computing power increases. This makes it possible to develop chemical processes that would have been impossible to conceive of just a few years ago," says former BASF CEO and C1 Supervisory Board member Dr. Jürgen Hambrecht, referring to C1’s use of computer models rather than empirical experimentation as the basis of their development. C1’s technology has already been proven by producing non-fossil methanol from excess biomass and waste plastic. The key is a highly effective (secret) homogeneous catalyst that works at significantly lower pressure and temperature, thus making the necessary chemical reaction much more efficient. This means that at last the production of green methanol is economically viable. Green methanol is to be used for propulsion of cargo ships as of 2024, finally making them climate-friendly. The world's largest shipping company, Maersk, has already ordered 12 container ships powered by methanol.