e-Methanol is part of a class of emerging e-fuels (also called power-to-X) that are produced entirely from renewable energy and CO2 extracted from the air. Others include e-methane (or renewable methane or synthetic natural gas) and e-kerosene (for aviation fuel).
The major benefit of working with e-fuels is carbon neutrality. CO2 released when they are used is entirely offset by the CO2 extracted from the air to produce them.
SGG’s approach is based on small process modules which are standalone and completely powered by solar energy. SGG intends to manufacture the process modules in Australia.
The process involves SGG’s proprietary technology for the extraction of CO2 from air. Once hydrogen is electrolysed from water extracted from the air, the CO2 is then combined with the hydrogen in a reactor to form methanol.
SSG’s Founder and Managing Director, Rohan Gillespie, foresees e-methanol as vital fuel for Australia’s future.
“There is an existing sizeable market for methanol in Australia. The only local producer, the Laverton plant in Melbourne, closed in 2016 because of high gas prices. SGG’s technology is immune from gas prices, being entirely powered by solar,” says Rohan.
"A major benefit to Australia of local methanol production is fuel security, which is becoming a major concern.”
SGG remains focused on completing the Wallumbilla Renewable Methane Demonstration Project, which is complimentary as it deploys all the major components of a methanol module.
SGG will now start the development process, selecting project sites and founding buyers.
Over the medium-term, SGG aims to develop sufficient module manufacturing capacity to realise a methanol cost that would make it competitive with today’s fossil fuels.
For more news and technical articles from the global renewable industry, read the latest issue of Energy Global magazine.
The Spring 2022 issue of Energy Global includes a range of technical articles on energy storage, wind, solar, waste-to-energy, and more. In addition, this issue also features a regional report on the renewable energy market in Asia.
Read the article online at: https://www.energyglobal.com/other-renewables/20062022/sgg-launches-e-methanol-business-in-australia/