OCI and Petrofac work on gasification technology for sustainable methanol

Biobased Energy

The Netherlands – OCI Global has partnered with Petrofac to develop a new technology for the gasification of household waste.

The collaboration aims to supply OCI’s existing methanol installations with non-fossil raw materials and reduce the carbon footprint of methanol production.

The companies plan to use the old BioMCN factory in Delfzijl, the Netherlands, to produce sustainable methanol from household waste and vegetable waste streams. According to the GasifHy project, waste is converted into syngas through gasification, which serves as a raw material for the production of methanol. The aim is to produce more than 450 thousand tons of methanol per year in the first phase, which is equivalent to the annual methanol consumption of around 250,000 cars.

Methanol using waste

OCI’s existing methanol plant in Texas produces methanol from natural gas, which is a fossil fuel. By developing the technology for waste gasification, the company aims to shift towards a circular economy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Methanol is a key component in the production of chemicals such as formaldehyde and acetic acid, as well as fuels such as biodiesel and gasoline.

The collaboration between OCI and Petrofac aims to design a standardized gasification process and a modular design for the production of methanol using waste as a raw material. This will allow for the technology to be replicated in other locations and promote the adoption of sustainable methanol production globally.

Reducing GHG emissions

However, the development of the waste gasification technology is not without its challenges. Waste composition can vary widely, and the presence of impurities can affect the quality of the syngas produced. Additionally, the cost of waste collection, sorting, and transportation can be a significant barrier to the economic feasibility of the project.

Despite the challenges, the potential impact of the project is significant. By using waste as a raw material for methanol production, the project can reduce greenhouse gas emissions, divert waste from landfills, and promote a circular economy. It also aligns with the European Union’s goals of reducing waste and promoting sustainable production.