The Indian government think-tank NITI Aayong is working on a roadmap for full-scale implementation of methanol as fuel in the near future. A move towards methanol would reduce the dependence of oil imports and greatly reduce the pollution problem. 

The plan is to convert 6000 diesel train engines to methanol and make the railway system CO2 neutral. The marine sector is also seen as a key methanol market for introduction of methanol, together with development of the inland waterways to move goods from trucks to ships. 

"Methanol fuel can result in great environmental benefits and can be the answer to the burning urban pollution issue. At least 20 per cent diesel consumption can be reduced in next five to seven years and will result in a savings of Rs 26,000 crore annually," the NITI Aayog said. 

Methanol is a scalable and sustainable fuel that can be produced from a variety of feedstocks like natural gas, coal, bio-mass, municipal solid waste and even carbon dioxide. 

Read more at The Economic Times [external link]

For advancement of marine methanol technology, the SUMMEHT project has been carried out. The project included testing of different methanol engine concepts; compression ignited, and spark ignited. A methanol conversion design and risk assessment were also done for Swedish road ferry Jupiter as well as market analysis and analysis of expected environmental benefits for methanol conversions.

The reports for the project is available on the project webpage. The summary report can also be downloaded directly from this webpage.

Project reports [External link
Summary report [Download]

An agreement for a waste to methanol plant in Rotterdam was announced earlier this week. Enerkem that already have similar production plants in Canada is a partner in the project. Other partners include AkzoNobel and Air Liquide that will also supply hydrogen and oxygen for the production. 

The production capacity is cited as 220 000 mt of methanol. Non-recyclable waste and plastics is used as feedstock for the methanol. 

Enerkem have a similar plant in Canada and also produce ethanol. The waste is used to produced syn gas that is synthesized to methanol. For ethanol production the synthesis is taken one step further with methanol as an intermediate step. 

Further information can be found at Platts.com [external link]

During 2016 seven methanol tankers with methanol dual fuelled MAN two stroke engines were introduced to the world. Following the successful introduction four more ships have been announced and are expected to be delivered during 2019.

All four ships will be built at Hyndai Mippo Dockyard in Korea. The class of the new ships has not been announced but the out of the seven previously built ships DNV-GL classed four and was involved in the methanol approval of all seven. 

All four ships will be chartered by Waterfront Shipping (WFS), a subsidiary to methanol producer Methanex. 

Two of the vessels will be owned in a joint venture between WFS and Marinvest, one will be owned by NYK and the fourth will be owned in a joint venture between IINO and Mitsui.

Methanex press release [external link]

For the Swedish speaking readers there is an interesting program available Radio Sweden (SR) where carbon capture and especially carbon capture and utilisation is discussed. Especially in the context of using CO2 as building block for renewable fuels, i.e. electrofuels. Methanol is one of the molecules that is relatively easy to synthesise and thus a good alternative for large scale production. 

The program is available for download or streaming from the Radio Sweden website and the program is called Klotet. 

Listen of download the program