Decarbonisation Technology August 2022 issue

Power-to-X integration, the methanol case Renewable power to methanol projects can provide an economically attractive route to renewable methanol production Raimon Marin AFRY

P ower-to-X (PtX) technologies use electricity, preferentially renewable electricity, to produce hydrogen via electrolysis of water, with oxygen and low-grade heat as the main by-products. The hydrogen is further used in a range of applications, shown in Figure 1 ; namely, e-methanol, e-ammonia, synthetic natural gas, synthetic sustainable aviation fuel, direct reduction of iron, and many more. Integrating small and medium PtX projects into existing facilities is an attractive approach already taken by several players in the industry (S&P Global, 2020) due to the revalorisation of side streams and potential reduction of the CO₂ footprint of the existing facility. For PtX applications like methanol and other synthetic hydrocarbons, pulp mills or bio-waste to power are a good fit since there is availability

of biogenic CO₂ and possibly a reliable supply of renewable electricity. Here, a seamless integration is required for financial success, and it must be made by players with expertise along the whole project value chain (from market analysis and levelised cost of electricity/ hydrogen and final product to understanding the technical particularities of pulp mill/bio-waste to power, carbon capture, and PtX). AFRY(c) has a long tradition in market analysis and both pulp mills and bio-waste to power plants with know-how in carbon capture and PtX, as shown in Figure 2 , with a track record of successful PtX integration projects. Selecting the hydrogen plant Hydrogen is the pivotal element in PtX; selecting the right technology that better adapts to your

Green steel - DRI Ammonia


Fish farming

Methanol Jet fuel Mobile fuel cells / FCVs Stationary fuel cells /energy backup systems Space rocket fuel Gas turbines Heat Large scale energy storage Fat hydrogenation Polysilicon wafer / solar cells

Smelters/copper concentrators

Medical oxygen

Renewable energy






Figure 1 Power-to-X value chain


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