Photo: Liquid Wind

Liquid Wind: eMethanol can deliver significant reductions in CO2 production compared to fossil marine fuels

eMethanol produced from renewable energy sources can have carbon equivalence up to 94% lower than fossil fuels, according to a lifecycle assessment conducted by Swedish eMethanol producer Liquid Wind.

Liquid Wind
A visualisation of FlagshipONE, Sweden’s first facility for production of green electro-fuel, eMethanol, in Örnköldsvik. Courtesy of Liquid Wind

The results are published in a white paper whose conclusion reinforces calls for maritime regulators to assess the carbon impact of marine fuels on a lifecycle basis, in the process providing the means to significantly lower the carbon emissions from merchant shipping.

To meet the growing demand for carbon-neutral fuel and the need to reduce CO2 emissions, Liquid Wind is developing FlagshipONE, a commercial-scale renewable eMethanol facility which will capture CO2 emissions from a biomass combined heat and power plant.

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To quantify the environmental benefit, Liquid Wind performed an internal lifecycle analysis (LCA) to determine the emissions of the eMethanol to be produced at FlagshipONE, considering all stages of the eMethanol lifecycle and identifying the GHG reduction potential compared to conventional fuels.

The well-to-gate emissions of FlagshipONE eMethanol (life-cycle emission when leaving the production facility) are relatively small, at around -1.3 kg CO2eq per kg of eMethanol produced. About -1.4 kg of CO2 is from capturing the carbon and is credited as negative emissions.

When the scope is expanded to include the ‘use phase’, well-to-wake, the emissions of transport and combustion are considered. The captured CO2 is re-emitted, which results in a net positive climate change potential of about 5 gCO2eq/MJ.

Considering life cycle emissions, fossil-based fuels emit around 85-90 gCO2eq/MJ, which results in a reduction of about 94% when replaced with wind-based eMethanol. The well-to-wake emissions of eMethanol are compared to further marine fuel alternatives based on data provided in Brynolf, (2014) of Chalmers University, Sweden.

“Together with our consortium partners, Liquid Wind is demonstrating the potential that sustainable marine fuels can make to reducing carbon emissions when carbon is considered on a lifecycle basis,” Claes Fredriksson, CEO and founder of Liquid Wind, commented.

”With further regulatory alignment, marine fuel buyers and end users can understand how to make their operations cleaner and greener and demonstrate that to their stakeholders.”

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