The Methanol Institute (MI) is the trade association for the global methanol industry. MI members include the world’s leading methanol producers, distributors and technology companies.
Our industry generates around €27.5 billion in economic activity each year, and employs more than 100,000 people worldwide. Global demand for methanol is 60 million metric tons or 75 billion liters per year. Most of this demand is for chemical applications, but the fastest growing segment of methanol demand globally is for energy applications.
One of the distinct advantages of employing methanol as a sustainable source of fuel is the diverse array of feedstocks from which this simple alcohol can be produced. Besides industrial production from natural gas and coal gasification, methanol can be made from anything that is, or ever was, a plant. Timber waste, landfill gas, trash, pulp mill black liquor, agricultural waste and even CO2 pollution among a host of other viable sources — all can be converted into methanol as an effective way to store and distribute the energy from each source.
In Europe, the Fuel Quality Directive allows for blending of up to 3% methanol with a co-solvent under EN 228, and low levels of methanol are being co-blended with ethanol in some EU markets. Israel is in the midst of an M15 pilot program, and is considering using newly discovered natural gas finds as a feedstock to produce methanol fuels and reduce the country’s dependence on imported oil. China is already making the transition to methanol/gasoline fuel blends with M15 (15% methanol and 85% gasoline) representing 8% of the country’s transportation fuel pool for economic and national security objectives.