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WasteFuel technology converts municipal solid waste into E-Methanol fuel

Maersk has an agreement to buy methanol from WasteFuel (Maersk rendering of methanol fueled ships)

Posted on September 20, 2022 at 6:52 p.m. by

The Maritime Executive

As the shipping industry moves toward wider adoption of methanol as an alternative fuel, supply and supply issues remain. Californian start-up WateFuel, which counts Maersk and NetJets among its investors, has developed a new technology module to convert municipal solid waste into low-carbon fuels. According to the company, the technology can be built efficiently where the waste is and scale production efficiently and quickly to meet the shipping industry’s growing demand for green methanol.

According to the company, its new technology will dramatically accelerate the use of organic waste to produce green methanol. The WasteFuel Methanol Module is designed to produce up to 100 metric tons per day of fuel-grade methanol from a variety of waste sources, including landfill gas and biogas from anaerobic digestion.

“Green methanol is critically important to decarbonizing global shipping and the supply chains of the companies that depend on it,” said Trevor Neilson, co-founder, president and CEO of WasteFuel. to more efficiently convert municipal waste into green methanol around the world. »

The process is designed in a modular fashion to improve overall resource utilization and enable rapid and cost-effective scaling. The process is designed to simultaneously wet and dry reform to convert waste into green methanol. According to the company, when used on a commercial scale, the new approach will produce green methanol that can reduce CO2 and other greenhouse gases and pollutants by up to 90% compared to conventional fuels.

WasteFuel has filed a provisional patent application directly related to the new approach and unique configuration. The technology will also be available under license.

The company continues to seek opportunities to expand its production capabilities, noting that beyond the shipping industry, it foresees other markets such as the petrochemical sector. “Consumer products companies that have made net zero commitments will not be able to meet them without a dramatic expansion of green methanol supply,” Neilson said.

Earlier this year, WateFuel announced a commercial-scale biomethanol partnership with Maersk as the first step in decarbonizing shipping. Maersk intends to purchase 30,000 tonnes per year of bio-methanol from WasteFuel as part of the global supplier network the shipping company is building ahead of the launch of its methanol-fueled container ships in 2024. Initially, the green methanol will be made from the recovery of municipal waste in South America, but the two partners expect to further develop the projects and the production of green methanol.

“Green methanol is the only market-ready sustainable fuel available for shipping today and production needs to be accelerated through collaboration across the ecosystem and around the world,” said Henriette Hallberg Thygesen, CEO of Fleet & Strategic Brands, AP Moller – Maersk in March 2022. the announcement of the agreement. “That’s why these partnerships mark an important step in initiating the transition to green energy.”