CRI and Jiangsu Sailboat inaugurate CO2-to-methanol plant

Iceland’s Carbon Recycling International (CRI) and China’s Jiangsu Sailboat Petrochemical have started up a CO2-to-methanol plant, marking a milestone in the global effort to boost the production of sustainable methanol.

Courtesy of Carbon Recycling International (CRI)

The opening ceremony took place on September 25, 2023, at the Shenghong Petrochemical Industrial Park in China, with the plant brought to life in under two years from contract signing.

CRI noted that the project brought together teams from around the world, representing a global approach to tackling a shared environmental concern.

This Jiangsu Sailboat methanol plant operates with CRI’s proprietary emissions-to-liquids (ETL) technology, transforming waste carbon dioxide and hydrogen gases into sustainable, commercial-grade methanol, and according to CRI, it is built to recycle 150,000 tons of carbon dioxide sourced from waste streams at the large petrochemical complex, significantly reducing emissions that would have otherwise been released into the atmosphere.

The plant has the capacity to produce 100,000 tons of sustainable methanol annually, CRI said, adding that, used primarily to supply their olefins facility, this methanol will be used to produce chemical derivatives, including sustainable plastics and EVA coatings for solar panels. This is expected to reduce the reliance on fossil-based methanol to drive more sustainable value chains and carbon footprint reduction initiatives across various sectors, such as industrial manufacturing and renewable energy.

Qian Xinhua, Vice President of Shenghong Petrochemical Industry Group, stated at the plant opening ceremony: “This green industrial value chain project is a significant step forward. It uses advanced green and low-carbon technology to capture carbon dioxide and turn it into a resource. Further implementation of such technology allows us to combine green hydrogen, renewable energy and more to create new materials, replacing the traditional raw materials used in the chemical industry.”

Björk Kristjánsdóttir, CEO of CRI, commented: “This milestone plant not only expands the reach of our technology into new application markets but also showcases the broad versatility and unmatched efficiency of our ETL technology, proving the viability of large-scale sustainable methanol production.”

To note, with the start-up of the Sailboat plant, CRI’s ETL technology portfolio now has the capacity to recycle over 300,000 tons of CO2 annually (direct CO2), which is equivalent to the environmental impact of 15 million trees actively absorbing CO2 over the course of a year, CRI claimed.

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