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Germany to Convert Coal Power Plant CO2 into Methanol

Carbon Recycling International implements power-to-fuel technology in Germany

The nation of Germany is already converting Coal-fired power plant exhaust gas Carbon Dioxide into hydrocarbons, into organic chemicals that can, and do, serve as substitutes for the same compounds ordinarily derived from natural petroleum; and, which organic chemicals are used in the manufacture of certain high-volume, high-performance commercial plastics, or, more accurately, polymers.


See, for one example, our report of:

Bayer Is Converting Coal Power Plant CO2 Into Plastics | Research & Development | News; concerning: "'Bayer Material Science CO2-to-Plastics Pilot Plant, Germany'; In February 2011, Bayer MaterialScience started a new pilot plant (in the) North Rhine-Westphalia state of Germany for producing plastics from  carbon dioxide (CO2). It will be used to develop polyurethanes from the waste gas released during power generation".

Further, Germany is also using renewable, environmental energy, from wind turbines, to convert Carbon Dioxide extracted from industrial exhaust gases into substitute natural gas Methane.

See, for one example, our report of:

Audi is Using Renewable Energy to Convert CO2 into Methane | Research & Development | News;  concerning, in part, the article:"'Audi E-Gas Plant Uses CO2, Renewables to Make Fuel'; Audi is building an industrial plant in Werlte, Germany, which will use renewable energy and carbon dioxide to make synthetic methane fuel. The plant will use power-to-gas technology to make so-called e-gas for vehicles, such as the new Audi A3 Sportback TCNG. E-gas made at the plant can be distributed to compressed natural gas stations via Germany’s natural gas network and will power vehicles starting next year, Audi said. The e-gas plant, which has the capacity to convert six MW of power, will use renewable electricity for electrolysis. The process splits water molecules into oxygen and hydrogen ... . (The) plant takes the hydrogen and reacts it with CO2 in a methanation unit to generate renewable synthetic methane".

Another European nation, Iceland, is capturing industrial off-gas Carbon Dioxide and is then converting that CO2 into the fuel alcohol, Methanol.

See, for one example, our report of:

Iceland Recycles Even More CO2 | Research & Development | News; wherein it's reported, in part: "Carbon Recycling International (CRI) captures carbon dioxide from industrial emissions and converts carbon dioxide into Renewable Methanol (RM). RM is a clean fuel that can be blended at different levels with gasoline to meet renewable energy directives. The production process captures carbon dioxide and minimizes emissions from energy intensive industries. CRI's methanol is compatible with existing energy and fuel infrastructure. RM is a blend fuel for existing automobiles and hybrid flexible vehicles and can be purchased at existing gasoline stations. The production of RM is feasible at many locations around the world with geothermal, wind, and solar energy sources. CRI plans to build commercial plants for both domestic consumption and export to other European countries".

And, herein we learn that Germany has invited Iceland to help them start converting the Carbon Dioxide extracted from their Coal-fired power plant exhaust streams into Methanol, as well.

Comment follows, and is inserted within, excerpts from the initial link in this dispatch to the news release:

"Carbon Recycling International implements power-to-fuel technology in Germany

11 December 2014

Carbon Recycling International (CRI) will collaborate with industrial partners from Germany, Spain and Belgium to implement its Emissions-to-Liquids technology in an innovative renewable fuel production plant, recycling carbon-dioxide emissions from a coal-fired power plant in Germany.

This represents a milestone for CRI in deploying its technology solutions into Europe, which include future sales of equipment and services for end-to-end power-to-fuels technology solutions.

"This project will deploy technology solutions for electrolysis with fast response time, carbon capture and utilization from coal fired power-plants and chemical energy storage applications. These technologies will play a crucial role in the German energy-transition," said KC Tran, CEO and co-founder of CRI. "I am also pleased that the project will enable further development of manufacturing capability in Iceland for chemical engineering applications."

German authorities want at least half of the energy consumed by households and industry to be met with renewable energy sources. This creates a need for technology which can utilize intermittent and surplus energy while decreasing the emissions of greenhouse gas.

CRI technology decreases emissions and converts carbon dioxide (CO2) into sustainable renewable liquid transport fuels for gasoline and diesel powered engines.

The project will last three to four years and involves design, building and testing of systems to demonstrate the utilization of surplus and intermittent renewable energy sources and CO2 for the production of value added sustainable chemicals and fuel.

CRI's role in the project consists of the design, manufacturing and installation of a dynamic power-to-fuels system.

The facility will capture carbon dioxide from the emissions of a coal-fired power plant.

The project partners include Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems Europe as system integrator and several universities and research institutions in Europe.

(Concerning the immediately above, as seen in our reports of:

Japan Converts CO2 to Fuel | Research & Development | News; concerning: "Dimethyl ether synthesis from carbon dioxide by catalytic hydrogenation (Part 1) activities of methanol dehydration catalysts; Authors: Hirano Masaki (et. al.); Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd (et. al.) The authors have developed ... catalyst for methanol synthesis from CO2 and H2, and have been studying a technology for the direct synthesis of dimethyl ether (DME) from CO2 and H2"; and:

Japan Helps Iceland Convert CO2 into Liquid Hydrocarbon Fuels | Research & Development | News; concerning: "Dimethyl Ether Production from Carbon Dioxide and Hydrogen; 2010; Abstract: The chemical recycling of carbon dioxide to methanol and dimethyl ether (DME) provides a renewable, carbon-neutral, source for efficient transportation fuels. DME can be used in diesel engine ... . The Icelandic government has established a long term vision for zero percent hydrocarbon fuel emissions, and has been working to increase the use of renewable energy. So, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) is planning to open a DME plant in 2014, in Iceland. A two step process is adopted to produce DME, via methanol, produced from carbon dioxide and hydrogen. To end that, the flue gas from the ELKEM ferrosilicon plant is fed to the MHI’s CO2 recovery process ... Hydrogen is generated by electrolysis of water (and) it is possible to improve methanol production using ... coal";

Mitsubishi, of Japan, is already working in Iceland, presumably with Carbon Recycling International, to reduce the "Emissions-to-Liquids technology" to industrial, commercial practice. The "dimethyl ether (DME)" is a hydrocarbon fuel easily made from Methanol, one which can serve as a replacement, with relatively minor mechanical changes, for both Diesel fuel and liquefied petroleum gas, LPG.)

CRI produces renewable methanol, under the brand name Vulcanol, at its Emissions-to-Liquids production facility in Grindavik, Iceland. CRI technology catalytically converts electricity and carbon dioxide into renewable methanol. Methanol, one of the most common chemical feedstocks, is widely used in gasoline blending, for biodiesel production and production of chemical derivatives".


First, Methanol, as will be made in Germany from Coal-fired power plant exhaust gas Carbon Dioxide, isn't just "used in gasoline blending".

As seen for just one example in our report of:

ExxonMobil "Coal to Clean Gasoline" | Research & Development | News; concerning, in part: "Coal to Clean Gasoline; ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Company; ExxonMobil's methanol to gasoline technology for the production of clean gasoline from coal. (There is a) commercially proven alternative for converting coal to gasoline, through methanol. ExxonMobil’s methanol-to-gasoline (MTG) process efficiently converts crude methanol to high quality clean gasoline";

Methanol, no matter which of our precious natural resources, whether Coal or Carbon Dioxide, we make it from, can be directly and efficiently converted into "high quality ... gasoline", as well as into the substitute Diesel fuel, "dimethyl ether (DME)".

Further, as we've previously reported, and as seen separately in:

Honeywell’s UOP Wins Fourth License For Its Breakthrough Technology To Convert Methanol From Coal To Plastics; which reports: "Apr. 18, 2013 – UOP LLC, a Honeywell company, announced today that China’s Jiangsu Sailboat Petrochemical Co. Ltd. has licensed Honeywell’s UOP advanced methanol-to-olefin (MTO) process to convert methanol from gasified coal into key plastics building blocks";

Methanol, can also serve to replace petroleum-based raw materials in the synthesis and manufacture of various plastics, in which polymers the Carbon Dioxide - - if that, instead of Coal, were the raw material of choice - - consumed in the synthesis of the Methanol would be forever, chemically, permanently, and productively, to use a word that now has unfortunate implications, "sequestered".

Although the Coal-fired power plant CO2 exhaust-to-Methanol and DME technology discussed by our subject herein, which will be reduced to actual industrial practice in Germany, was developed in Iceland with help from Japan, we remind you, that, as seen in:

West Virginia 2014 CO2 to Hydrocarbon Synthesis Gas | Research & Development | News; concerning:

"United States Patent 8,658,311 - High Temperature Rechargeable Battery for Greenhouse Gas Decomposition and Oxygen Generation; 2014; Inventors: Bruce S. Kang and Huang Guo, Morgantown, West Virginia; Abstract: Instead of CCS technique, a possible approach to mitigate the greenhouse gas (GHG) emission is to decompose it into useful products. This invention shows a high temperature rechargeable battery system for decomposition of oxygen-containing gases (e.g CO2/H2O, NOx, SOx, in particular GHG), oxygen generation, and energy storage ... . During battery discharge, GHG can be decomposed into syngas (CO+H2) or solid carbon, while renewable energy (e.g. solar/wind power) could be used to charge the battery and generate oxygen.  The present invention relates to the high temperature rechargeable battery system using oxygen ion conducting electrolyte which could be capable of utilizing renewable energy sources such as solar or wind power for energy storage and efficiently converting GHG, into useable syngas, solid carbon and oxygen. Syngas can be ... further processed into hydrocarbon and carbonaceous fuels, such as Diesel, Methanol";

United States Coal Country scientists have developed closely similar technology, wherein "renewable energy (e.g. solar/wind power) could be used" to convert Carbon Dioxide, as harvested from whatever sources most convenient to us, into the immensely versatile and valuable "Methanol".

And, finally, we'll close with several questions, and a quote we've become quite fond of:

If the Carbon Dioxide-to-Methanol technologies discussed herein, which are being reduced to actual industrial, commercial practice in parts of Europe, along with the follow-on technologies for converting the CO2-based Methanol into Gasoline, Diesel fuel, and Plastics, were to be openly reported on and discussed among the public and the politicians of United States Coal Country, and then, as they are being in Europe, began to be reduced to actual practice:

How many jobs, do you suppose, would be created in United States Coal Country?

How much pressure and opposition from environmentalists and their allies would be removed from the operation of, and the building of more, Coal-fired electric power plants?

And, since Methanol made from Carbon Dioxide can be converted into a full range of petroleum fuels and petrochemicals, how many young American lives would we save by thus not having to send our young patriots in uniform to ungodly places like the Persian Gulf and the Arabian deserts, just to defend and protect both the squandering of our US national treasure and the lavish lifestyles of the oil sheiks?  

"A time comes" - - especially with regards to those questions, and to the people who should be publicly addressing them for us - - "when silence is betrayal." - - Martin Luther King, Jr.