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A German research project aims to make methanol from biomass or CO2

By Gerald Ondrey |

The Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT; Germany; www.kit.edu) is cooperating with research institutions and industry partners to develop a novel process chain for the synthesis of methanol, either without the use of fossil resources or by reusing CO2 from undesired by-product streams from industry. As part of the so-called OptiMeOH project, theoretical and experimental studies will focus on energy-efficient biogas production by high-pressure (30 bars or more) fermentation of biomass. In addition, a new reactor concept will be developed for methanol synthesis, and a new process will be designed for processing industry gases by scrubbing with ionic liquids. The new process chain will be compared to established processes and assessed with respect to various economic and ecological factors. A feasibility study will cover use of this technology at two different locations, a big industrial park and a decentralized facility. “The process will be analyzed holistically, its efficiency and ecobalance will be compared to those of methanol production processes based on coal, oil or natural gas,” says Siegfried Bajohr, head of the Catalytic Fuel Conversion Unit of the Engler-Bunte Institute of KIT. The OptiMeOH project, which is scheduled…
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