Newly discovered catalyst could lead to the low-cost, clean production of methanol

Scientists from Stanford University, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and the Technical University of Denmark have discovered a catalyst for methanol production that could lower the cost of methanol production. 

The catalyst is based on nickel-gallium instead of the commonly used copper, zinc and aluminum based catalyst.

"Methanol is processed in huge factories at very high pressures using hydrogen, carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide from natural gas," said study lead author Felix Studt, a staff scientist at SLAC. "We are looking for materials than can make methanol from clean sources, such as sunshine, under low-pressure conditions, while generating low amounts of carbon monoxide."

The results are published in the March 2 online edition of the journal Nature Chemistry.

Read more at Stanford University news page.

TOKYO-Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd has announced a contract with Methanol Holdings (Trinidad) to build and charter four methanol carriers. The new ships will replace older vessels. 

“Global demand for methanol is expected to grow and MOL will continue expanding its services to meet the needs of a broad range of customers, building on its extensive experience and know-how as a worldwide leader in methanol transport,” MOL said in a statement.

MOL previously signed a deal with Waterfront Shipping to build two (with an option for one additional) methanol carriers with flexi fuel engines able to operate on methanol.

Press release

Out of the six methanol tankers that was ordered last year four are set to be classified by DNV GL. It is the ones ordered by Marinvest and Westfal-Larsen. The ships will be built at the Hyundai Mipo Dockyards in South Korea.

DNV GL is first of the classification societies to publish tentative rules for low flashpoint fuels.



Waterfront Shipping, a subsidiary to Methanex Coproration, has reached an agreement with Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL), Westfal-Larsen & Co A/S (WL) and Marinvest/Skagerack Invest to build six new ships to be delivered during 2016.

The 50,000 dwt ships will be equipped with MAN ME-LGI flexi fuel engines. In addition to the three ordered ships there is an option for building an additional three.

"We are very excited to continue investing in methanol-based marine fuel. This announcement reinforces our commitment to continue investing in sustainable technology. Methanol is a sulfur-free fuel that provides many environmental and clean burning benefits. With fuel prices increasing and upcoming shipping regulations requiring the use of cleaner marine fuel, methanol-based fuel is a promising alternative which reduces emissions and fuel costs," stated Jone Hognestad, President, Waterfront Shipping.

Methanex News Releases 


Introduction of methanol as marine fuel will reduce the emissions from shipping and enable fulfillment of future requirements to a fraction of the cost compared to alternative fuels or abatement technologies.

The first projects to convert marine engines to methanol operation have been started and we will follow the projects and report how they develop .

We will also follow the marine methanol commodity market and provide information where and when methanol will be available in your port.

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