Icelandic-German collab to convert emissions into green methanol for ships

Icelandic energy company Landsvirkjun and German investment company PCC SE have agreed to jointly explore the possibility of capturing and utilising carbon emissions that will be used to produce green methanol for ships.

Illustration. Source: Navingo

The companies intend to look into capturing and utilising carbon emissions from PCC’s silicon metal plant in northeast Iceland. The emission could then be turned into green methanol that can replace fossil fuels in ships and the industry.

Recently, green methanol has been receiving a lot of attention from the industry as a promising alternative to fossil fuels with the potential to play a key role in decarbonising vessels.

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As explained, the production of green methanol requires a renewable carbon source from PCC’s silicon metal plant and renewable power from Landsvirkjun’s power stations.

The process of methanol synthesis requires the input of pure carbon dioxide and hydrogen from water electrolysis, with the only by-product being oxygen and water.

Turning carbon dioxide from waste into a valuable resource by utilising and producing fuel for industries will help mitigate climate change and the transition to a circular economy, the companies stated.

PCC SE aims for their silicon metal plant at Húsavík to become carbon neutral by replacing fossil carbon reductants in their production with renewable alternatives.

According to the company, the plant at Bakki emits about 150,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide annually due to the nature of the chemical reaction that reduces quartzite (SiO2) with a carbon reductant to produce silicon metal.

Catching and utilising the emitted renewable carbon to produce green methanol would improve the carbon footprint of ships and industry utilising such fuel and on top improve the carbon footprint of PCC’s silicon metal plant beyond carbon neutrality.

“We are ready to take the next step at PCC BakkiSilicon; capture carbon emissions from our production and utilise for the energy transition. Our operations are already on track for carbon neutrality, but the production of green methanol, which can be used as maritime fuel, would certainly be a milestone“, said Peter Wenzel, CEO at PCC SE.

Commenting on the collaboration, Hörður Arnarson, CEO of Landsvirkjun, added: “We at Landsvirkjun welcome the opportunity to collaborate on a green solution with a good customer. The energy transition is urgent, especially in the fleet. If we can use our renewable electricity to produce green methanol at PCC BakkiSilicon, we are one step closer to a green future.”

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