Perstorp investigates sustainable methanol production

Article by Amanda Jasi

LEADING specialty chemicals company Perstorp is investigating the potential production of recycled methanol using carbon dioxide (CO2) and residual streams at its facility in Stenungsund, Sweden. The project aims to help reduce process-related CO2 emissions.

Methanol is one of Perstorp’s major raw materials. It is used to produce polyols and formates, which are building blocks for many consumer goods such as coatings and paints, composite materials, adhesives, and synthetic lubricants. Perstorp also uses methanol in its next-generation, phthalate-free plasticiser, Pevalen.

Typically, methanol is produced using fossil materials. In a typical plant it is produced by steam reformation of natural gas. In this process, steam reacts with methane to produce syngas, which is then pressurised and converted into crude methanol using specialised catalysts. The crude methanol is then purified by distillation.

Perstorp aims to produce more sustainable, recycled methanol to replace fossil-based methanol as a raw material. For example, it could use the sustainable methanol in its renewable, Pro-Environment products and solutions.

The company has launched a feasibility study to investigate the concept including: a new plant; the integration of raw materials, fuel, energy, and residual streams; and, novel methanol technologies. The study launched in Q1 of 2019 and is expected to be complete “about a year from now, said Anna Berggren, Business Development Manager at Perstorp.

The study will be partly funded by the Swedish Energy Agency, but Perstorp declined to disclose the funding amount as well as the total of the study cost at this stage.

If the project is successful it will significantly support Perstorp’s ambition to contribute to and to be part of a sustainable society.

Jan Secher, President and CEO of Perstorp, said: “We have taken on a tough sustainability ambition. This methanol project is a development that supports the growing global demand from end consumers and brand owners for more sustainable products and materials.”

In 2017, Perstorp announced its ambition to become “Finite Material Neutral”, which includes a shift from using finite, fossil materials to renewable, reused, or recycled material. In line with its ambition, Perstorp has developed a “unique” range of renewable, low carbon footprint Pro-Environment products and solutions.

Article by Amanda Jasi

Staff Reporter, The Chemical Engineer

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