Methanol Policy Forum 2012 - Washington D.C.
Session 4: Renewable Methanol
Biomass? Check. Municipal Solid Waste? Check. Recycled Industrial Waste? Check. Carbon Dioxide itself? Check. Renewable methanol producers are making methanol from an increasingly diverse array of feedstocks, many of them built upon waste streams that would otherwise go to waste or cause even further impact on the environment. And these are not just ideas in a laboratory - these are some of the world's largest 2nd generation biofuel facilities, and they are spread out across the globe, tapping into local resources for energy production.
Our final panel of the day focused on these pioneering companies that are changing the way we think about biofuels - moving away from using food as a feedstock for fuel and looking at a spectrum of available solutions. The panel was also joined by Prof. Surya Prakash, a collaborator of Dr. George Olah - the Nobel Laureate that proposed, along with Prakash and others, that a methanol economy could help the global community meet many of its needs by utilizing this one innovative molecule to its fullest.
Panelist for this session included (click names for a copy of their presentation):
- Moderator: Matt Roberts, Government Affairs for the Americas and Europe, Methanol Institute
- Marie-Helene Labrie, Vice President of Government Affairs, Enerkem
- Paul Wuebben, Senior Director for Renewable Energy, Carbon Recycling International
- Professor Surya Prakash, Director, Loker Hydrocarbon Research Institute, University of Southern California
- Eelco Dekker, Chief Marketing Officer, BioMCN
In advance of the conference, we also made available a number of resources to help inform attendees to promotoe more robust discussions wth our panels. We also wanted to make those materials available to you here.
Renewable Methanol - While the lion's share of methanol made around the world today comes from natural gas, renewable methanol production is ramping up considerably. Not only does the consumer get the clean burning benefits of methanol (no particulate matter, lower NOx emissions, etc.), but renewable production pathways are also able to lower the greenhouse gas emissions even further on a 'well-to-wheels' basis. Biomass, municipal solid waste, forest thinings, agricultural waste, and even CO2 from the atmosphere can all be converted to methanol. And this isn't just laboratory work - the experts on this panel come from some of the most innovative 2nd generation biofuel companies in the world that are bringing renewable methanol to market,
Some helpful resources on this topic include: