German Researchers Produced Methanol From Carbon Dioxide

According to the Xinhua news, carbon dioxide that produced by the burning of fossil fuels is considered as the “culprit” of global warming. However, German researchers found that with the help of a metal catalyst, carbon dioxide and hydrogen can be generate methanol with industrial use under a mild condition. At present, the industrial production of methanol from hydrogen and carbon monoxide under high temperature and pressure and heterogeneous catalysis.

The researchers of Germany RWTH Aachen University reported on a German journal Applied Chemistry, in their experiments, they found that due to a homogeneous catalytic effect of a metal catalyst ruthenium (CAS No. is 7440-18-8) - phosphine complexes, carbon dioxide and hydrogen generated methanol in the pressurized solution. A carbon dioxide molecule and three hydrogen molecules can generate methanol (CH4O, CAS number is 67-56-1 )and water after their reaction. The researchers said that using this method that converting carbon dioxide and hydrogen into methanol is an exploration of new ideas, they will continue to find a more suitable catalyst.

People who participated in this research also believe that, using carbon dioxide which is a greenhouse gase that people want to reduce emission to produce methanol is  is an ideal processing idea. However, this process has a very high demand on catalyst, the researchers will continue to find a more suitable catalyst.

Saudi Arabia Controled 85% Of the Methanol Market In Middle East Solely

A recent survey shows that in the entire Middle East and African markets, as the major methanol-exporting countries, Saudi Arabia has the share of the production of methanol that is high as to 85%. At the same time, Saudi Arabia is also the region’s largest methanol consumer. In the next 10 years, the country’s methanol production will have further increase and the export volume will continue to increase.

From 2006 to 2011, the Saudi’s macro-economy had a good performance, and its oil reserves was lucrative and abundant. In order to diversify the economy, the government provided adequate and cheap raw materials to many manufacturers, which provided a good basis for the development of the methanol (CH4O and CAS number is 67-56-1)industry.

In 2010, Saudi Arabia had slightly adjusted the raw material structure of the methanol, improved the production capacity of coal-based methanol, lowered the production capacity of natural gas based methanol, and achieved the rapid growth of the coke oven gas methanol capacity. About 40% of methanol had also been transformed into formaldehyde (the CAS number is 50-00-0), which was used in the production of a variety of products such as plastic, plywood, paints, explosives, and permanent press textiles.

The Operating Rate Of Global Methanol Equipments Is Expected To Rebound

In 2011, the global demand for methanol totaled about 54 million tons. In the next few years, drived by the rapid development of emerging application areas, the global methanol demand in 2015 will surge to 85 million tons. By then, the overcapacity situation of global methanol is expected to be effective mitigated, and the average operating rate of methanol devices will be back up to about 80% compared to 60% to 65% in the last two years. This information was obtained by the reporter from the recent the General Assembly of China International Nitrogen Fertilizer And Methanol In 2012.

Pang eagle, the senior director of IHS consulting firm, analysized the global methanol market conditions in detail. He pointed out that, from 2008 to 2011 the global methanol production capacity increase at an average annual 10 million tons, while demand growth large far behind the capacity growth. Because of excess capacity, the average operating rate of the methanol plant is maintained at 60% to 65%.The global annual increase of the methanol production capacity is estimated to 3 million tons in 2012 to 2015, at the same time demands for methanol blended gasoline, methanol to dimethyl ether and methanol to olefins and other emerging applications will continue to grow rapidly, especially in the year of 2015, a large number of methanol to olefins projects will put into operation in China, methanol consumption in this field will be more than 15 million tons. The fast growth in demand is expected to make the methanol plant, the average operating rate rose to about 80%.

As for North America region, he said, the methyl tert-butyl ether production in this region is significantly reduced because of the impact of methyl tertiary butyl ether contaminated water events in the past five years, resulting methanol consumption decreased by 30%. Methanol demand and production in the region in the next few years will continue to show weakness stagnation state does not have a big development.

European region about consumed 8 million tons of methanol each year in recent years, leading to the methanol consumption in the region of 2015 to reach about 900 million tons. The region produces methanol by using natural gas as raw material. It doesn’t have the advantages of raw materials, so the production of methanol shows a downward trend, the methanol consumption in the future will rely mainly on imports.

Northeast Asia is the main consuming market of methanol, accounting for more than 60% of the total global consumption. Methanol production and consumption in the region is basically concentrated in mainland China. The methanol consumption situation of the Chinese market is a hot topic of global concern.

Are Methanol Fuels Economical?

Methanol, also known as methyl alcohol, wood alcohol or hydroxymethane, is the simplest alcohol compound. It is comprised of one carbon atom, one oxygen atom and four hydrogen atoms (CH3OH). It is poisonous, flammable and relatively volatile. It has no taste or color, but it does have a slight scent.

Many renewable energy advocates see methanol as an ideal fuel source, with distinct advantages over hydrogen. In the economy, the common fuel is hydroxymethane, with non-renewable fuels having a minority share or being entirely unused. The main area in which one sees methyl alcohol being used is in many top-end racing engines. The vehicles in the Indy 500, for example, are all run on it. It is usually produced using a fossil fuel as the synthesis gas, either natural gas or petroleum.

The production of methanol fuels is typically less costly than ethanol variants, though advances are being made in the production of both. Ethanol was traditionally made from the same types of biomass that humans and livestock consume, such as corn and sugar cane. This could make ethanol expensive to produce, and raises concerns about a potential food crisis. Much of the wood alcohol fuel in use is made from nonrenewable natural gas and coal, though biomethane is typically not made from edible biomass. Advances in ethanol production make us of other methods, such as cellulosic ethanol, that use non-edible vegetable matter.

The most common methyl alcohol in the past was created from wood, though methane gas and coal are often used. Methanol fuels are sometimes used in place of gasoline for racing applications, due to a lower volatility. Most of the attention paid to alcohol-based fuels has involved ethanol, though wood alcohol can offer benefits such as increased sustainability and cheaper production.

One benefit to using methanol is its positive effect on fuel mileage. This is also the case with motor vehicles that use a combination of gasoline and hydroxymethane in their fuel systems. Fuel systems of cars, specifically within the internal combustion engine, need to be adapted slightly to methanol compared to gasoline. This includes creating a bigger fuel injector and using sensors that can monitor the fuel composition in the vehicle.

Although hydroxymethane is difficult to manufacture and refine, it has some advantages over other alternative fuels. Specifically, when compared to a fuel product like hydrogen, methanol has the existing infrastructure to create and store the fuel. A fuel like hydrogen requires altering the entire energy infrastructure of a country over to hydrogen or similar alternative fuels.

It’s a pity that methanol is very toxic and contains a number of hazards. It is less volatile than hydrogen, but also much heavier, which could allow contamination in the case of spills or tank leaks. A wide range of groups are constantly looking for new and innovative uses for hydroxymethane, and it seems apparent that it will have a role in the energy economy of the future. Whether that role is as the key player or a supporter to hydrogen or some other fuel source remains to be seen.