Iceland to build world's first methanol factory from steam

13:34, December 09, 2010      

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The world's first methanol factory using carbon-dioxide extracted from steam is expected to be completed next March in Iceland, according to a report reaching Stockholm from Reykjavik on Wednesday.

It is planned that the first stage of the methanol factory, located in the Southwest Reykjanes peninsula, constructed by Carbon Recycling International (CRI) at the HS Orka geothermal power plant will be completed in March 2011, an Iceland Review report said.

With a production capacity of 1.7 million liters per year, the methanol, alternative fuel, will be made from carbon dioxide extracted from steam emitted by the power plant, making it the first factory of its kind in the world.

It is expected that the second and third stages of the factory will be completed at the end of 2011 and 2012 if everything goes well. Once completed, the total capacity of the factory can reach 5.1 million liters of methanol per year.

"If this is achieved, another larger methanol factory will be built in a different location in Iceland, which will also produce the alternative fuel from the carbon dioxide emissions of geothermal power plants," the report said.` Methanol can be used for internal combustion engines in vehicles in the same way as gasoline and diesel oil. But Iceland will begin to use methanol by mixing it with 30 percent gasoline and gradually dropping to 10 percent gasoline.

Gas engines will not have to be modified to run on such a fuel mixture but if the percentage of methanol is higher, minor modifications are necessary, technical experts say.

It is also expected that the mixture fuel will be less expensive than pure gasoline.

Iceland is rich in geothermal energy which provides plenty of steam and CO2 as natural resources.



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