Researchers optimize green methanol production to reduce carbon emissions from transportation
For the past year, ten European and Japanese expert research organizations have been working together on the LAURELIN project to develop innovative processes for converting CO2 into renewable methanol.
Responsible for more than 25% of EU greenhouse gas emissions, the transport sector urgently needs new decarbonized alternative renewable fuels. This is why the LAURELIN project, funded by the European Union and the Japan Science and Technology Agency, is working on the development of innovative solutions to improve the production of green methanol from the hydrogenation of CO2 in terms of energy efficiency and cost of production.
“Renewable methanol has impressive potential to help decarbonize the transport sector. It can reduce CO2 emissions by up to 95%, reduce NOx emissions by up to 80%, and completely eliminate SOx and particulate emissions. It is a promising technology that can play an important role in making Europe the first climate-neutral continent,” explained Adolfo Benedito Borrás, LAURELIN Technical Coordinator and Head of Materials Research Department at AIMPLAS.
But the hydrogenation of CO2 into methanol has strong limitations related to the process, energy consumption and production costs. CO2 is generally unreactive and hydrogenation is impossible without the use of a catalyst, a substance added to accelerate the chemical reaction of H2 with CO2. The LAURELIN team is therefore developing new catalytic systems that are perfectly suited to advanced reactor technologies to reduce the energy consumption of the synthesis of methanol from CO2, and therefore its cost.
The team is working on three promising technologies: microwaves, non-thermal plasma induction and magnetic induction. They are finalizing the construction of the three corresponding reactors for the conversion of CO2 into methanol. The partners will continue to refine these new reactors in the coming weeks, for example by making them operational at higher pressure.
On this basis, the project will test more than 100 samples of new catalyst materials and compare them to conventional thermal hydrogenation. This will help optimize the selectivity and yield of methanol production.
“Reducing the production costs of e-methanol would lead to an increase in the possibilities of using it as a fuel. This would directly benefit society through reduced GHG emissions and costs, creating more jobs and wealth,” explained Professor Teruoki Tago from the Department of Chemical Science and Engineering at the Institute of Technology. from Tokyo.
Involving universities, research organizations and SMEs from Belgium, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, Spain and the United Kingdom, LAURELIN is a 48-month project funded by the Horizon 2020 program of the European Union and the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST). Learn more about the LAURELIN project by visiting our website and watching the project video.
Source: Laurelin Project