The Methanol Industry
Other Industry Associations:
The methanol industry is one of the world’s most dynamic and vibrant – producing a basic chemical molecule that touches our daily lives in a myriad of ways. From the basic chemical building block of paints, solvents and plastics, to innovative applications in energy, transportation fuel and fuel cells, methanol is a key commodity and an integral part of our global economy.
The methanol industry spans the entire globe, with production in Asia, North and South America, Europe, Africa and the Middle East. Worldwide, over 90 methanol plants have a combined production capacity of about 75 million metric tons (almost 24 billion gallons or 90 billion liters), and each day more than 100,000 tons of methanol is used as a chemical feedstock or as a transportation fuel (33 million gallons or 125 million liters). Methanol is also a truly global commodity, and each day there is more than 80,000 metric tons of methanol shipped from one continent to another.
In 2010, global methanol demand totaled about 45.6 million metric tons and is expected to exceed 50 million metric tons in 2011, driven in large part by the resurgence of the global housing market and increased demand for cleaner energy.
But the methanol industry is not just those companies large and small throughout the globe that produce methanol everyday from a wide array of feedstocks – including natural gas, coal, biomass, waste and even CO2 pollution – the industry is also made up of thousands of distributors, technology innovators, downstream manufacturers and service providers.
Methanol is used to produce acetic acid, formaldehyde, and a number of other chemical intermediaries that are utilized to make countless products throughout the global economy – and by volume, methanol is one of the top 5 chemical commodities shipped around the world each year. The global methanol industry generates $36 billion in economic activity each year, while creating over 100,000 jobs around the globe.