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New tech unveiled to develop green methanol from solid waste

During the UN United Nations General Assembly and New York Climate Week on 19 September 2022, WasteFuel, a California-based developer of biorefineries focused on converting municipal solid waste into low-carbon fuels, has launched WasteFuel Methanol Module — a new technology that will significantly accelerate the use of organic waste to produce green methanol.

Methanol has quickly emerged as the most cost-effective fossil fuel alternative for shipping companies around the world. Major shipping companies including Maersk, CMA CGM, COSCO, Stena Line, and Proman have committed to using methanol to power their vessels. 

As explained, the WasteFuel Methanol Module is designed to produce up to 100 metric tons per day of fuel grade methanol from a variety of waste sources including landfill gas and biogas from anaerobic digestion. The process is designed in a modular fashion to improve the overall utilization of resources and allow for cost-effective, quick scaling. 

WasteFuel has filed a provisional patent application directly related to the novel approach and unique configuration. The process is engineered to simultaneously wet and dry reform to convert waste into green methanol. The technology will be available for licensing meaning even greater potential for adoption and decarbonization. 

When utilized at a commercial scale, the WasteFuel Methanol Module will produce green methanol fuel that can achieve up to 90% reductions in CO2 and other greenhouse gases and pollutants compared to conventional fuels. 

“Green methanol is critically important in decarbonizing global shipping and the supply chains of companies who depend on it. There is also a vast market for green methanol in the petrochemicals space. The WasteFuel Methanol Module will allow WasteFuel and companies who license the technology to convert municipal waste more efficiently into green methanol around the world,” Trevor Neilson, Co-founder, chairman and CEO of WasteFuel, commented. 

“Consumer product companies who have made zero net commitments will not be able to meet them without a dramatic expansion of green methanol supply,” Neilson added. 

WasteFuel aims to produce green methanol that can be used in a variety of markets including shipping, marine transport, and petrochemicals, as well as to license its proprietary process to customers across markets, such as waste owners, biorefinery developers, and petrochemical companies. 

Existing WasteFuel Methanol efforts include a commercial-scale partnership with Danish shipping giant Maersk, which announced its intent to purchase 30,000 tons per year of WasteFuel’s bio-methanol. Maersk is the containerline that to date has invested the most in methanol-powered boxships.

WasteFuel’s solutions go beyond green methanol. The company has several biorefinery projects underway that will produce low-carbon fuels to revolutionize mobility across the transportation sector and to address the climate emergency. Source: WasteFuel. Photo: Maersk