SGG launches e-Methanol business cognisant of major global energy issues
e-Methanol is part of a class of emerging e-fuels (also called Power-to-X) that are produced entirely from renewable energy and CO₂ extracted from the air. Others include e-methane (or renewable methane or synthetic natural gas) and e-kerosene (for aviation fuel).
The major benefit of working with e-fuels is carbon neutrality. CO₂ released when they are used is entirely offset by the CO₂ extracted from the air to produce them.
SGG’s approach is based on small process modules which are standalone and completely powered by solar energy. SGG intends to manufacture the process modules in Australia.
The process involves SGG’s proprietary technology for the extraction of CO from air. Once hydrogen is electrolysed from water extracted from the air, the CO₂ is then combined with the hydrogen in a reactor to form methanol
SSG’s Founder and Managing Director, Rohan Gillespie, foresees e-methanol as vital fuel for Australia’s future.
“There is an existing sizeable market for methanol in Australia. The only local producer, the Laverton plant in Melbourne, closed in 2016 because of high gas prices. SGG’s technology is immune from gas prices, being entirely powered by solar,” says Rohan.
“A major benefit to Australia of local methanol production is fuel security, which is becoming a major concern.”
SGG remains focused on completing the Wallumbilla Renewable Methane Demonstration Project, which is complimentary as it deploys all the major components of a methanol module.
SGG will now start the development process, selecting project sites and founding buyers.
Over the medium term, SGG aims to develop sufficient module manufacturing capacity to realise a methanol cost that would make it competitive with today’s fossil fuels.