Sustainable, CO2-derived methanol emits only water vapor and carbon dioxide when burned, the same amount of CO2 that was used to produce the renewable methanol. It is kept in a closed CO2 cycle and is thereforoe CO2 neutral.
Compared O2 to hydrogen, methanol has about six times less hydrogen energy by weight than pure hydrogen, but twice as much by volume. This is because hydrogen is one of the lightest gaseous substances.
- Methanol: approx. 22 MJ / kg energy and approx. 5 kWh calorific value per liter
- Hydrogen: approx. 130 MJ / kg energy and approx. 2.7 kWh calorific value per liter (compressed at 900 bar)
This means that only half the tank volume is needed to store liquid methanol with the same amount of hydrogen energy compared to highly compressed hydrogen. An excellent energy storage carrier that can be transported and stored with the fossil-liquid infrastructure already in place, thus highly attractive to the entire industry or economy.
Methanol can be blended in small quantities with gasoline and used in existing on-road vehicles, or in high ratio blends such as M85-M100 in flex-fuel or dedicated methanol vehicles. Methanol fuel blends are used in vehicles around the world, especially in China. More than 100 million cars and trucks are already in use there, providing clean air in inner cities. It is a clean-burning fuel that has been shipped, traded and used around the world for many decades.
As a key base chemical for industry, methanol can also be converted into formaldehyde, plastics or paints, and in the fuel sector can even power gas turbines as a future aviation fuel, in addition to cruise and container shipping.
Methanol fuel cells offer a decisive advantage over batteries in electromobility. For one thing, they eliminate the considerable environmental disadvantages associated with battery production and disposal. For another, the refueling process takes no longer than with a conventional combustion engine.
The RMFC (Reformed Methanol Fuel Cell) or DMFC (Direct Methanol Fuel Cell) are also more reliable and efficient than pure hydrogen fuel cells, since methanol holds twice as much hydrogen energy per unit volume in liquid form than gaseous, compressed hydrogen.