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Successful demonstration in the production of green methanol

09.06.2020, bse methanol press release

Long-term test in Stralsund delivers first results

  • Operation of a plant for converting renewable electricity into methanol started in Stralsund.
  • Plant to be operated in endurance test for one year with a maximum capacity of 28 litres of raw methanol per day.
  • High interest from industry, associations and politics.

The consortium consisting of BSE and the Institute for Regenerative Energy Systems at Stralsund University of Applied Sciences (IRES) succeeded for the first time in converting wind power into renewable, regenerative methanol. A long-term test over a period of one year will confirm the process's suitability for use under fluctuating conditions.

In the course of the energy transition, the share of renewable energy sources in gross electricity consumption is continuously increasing and currently amounts to 42 % in Germany. In order to effectively reduce the use of fossil fuels such as oil, natural gas and coal, renewable energies must also be used for heat and transport. Here, the share is only 15 % and 6 % respectively. This so-called sector coupling has now been achieved by BSE and IRES.

The team uses green electricity in an electrolysis stage to split water into hydrogen and oxygen. The hydrogen is then converted with a suitable carbon dioxide source to the value product methanol in a process developed in-house (so-called FlexMethanol). Methanol is a key basic chemical and can also be used as a fuel. Direct combustion in engines is possible, but also further chemical processing into fuel substitutes or additives such as MTBE, DME and biodiesel. Christian Schweitzer, Managing Director of BSE, explains:

"In future, the fuel cell-compatible methanol or the concentrated product will be sold industrially as e-fuel. The special feature of our FlexMethanol plants is the mode of operation adapted to the electricity supply, starting with  CO2-Capture, alkaline electrolysis and distillation."