What is green methanol, the alternative to fossil fuel in maritime transport

Maerskone of the main shipping companies dedicated to the transport of goods globally, gave the bell on the 3rd day of the Spanish economy. He shipping giant Danish has chosen Spain to promote the decarbonization from his fleet with the creation of two plants in Andalusia and Galicia to produce green methanol for your own consumption in order to reduce the carbon emissions to the atmosphere, as announced in a statement. In other words, the investment could reach 10,000 million euros by 2030 and would create 85,000 jobs, 5,000 of which are direct. But what is green methanol, also known as e-methanol? Is it a real alternative to fossil fuels?

Maersk is the second largest shipping company of the world after MSC. It has 750 ships, 100,000 employees in 120 countries and 20% of the market share. He Marine transport it’s in the red lantern of decarbonization, which is nothing more than the process of reducing emissions, especially from carbon dioxide (CO2) to achieve a Global economy with low emissions through the energy transition.

Shipping companies release 11 gigatons of CO2 to the atmosphere

The current figures are scary. He latest UN emissions gap report warns that emissions increased by 1.4% between 2019 and 2019, reaching a record of 51.5 gigatons of carbon dioxide. In addition, the United Nations They have been warning for years that one of the culprits of the increase in greenhouse gases (GHG) is he shipping sector.

According to him ‘Fourth Study of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) on greenhouse gases from shipping’is responsible for pouring into the atmosphere more than 1,000 million tons of CO2 each year (1 gigatonne), which represents about 3% of all carbon emissions. human origin. In a no-action scenario, this number could double by 2050, according to experts.

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E-Methanol through renewable hydrogen and CO2 caught

Hence, Maersk has made the decision to decarbonise its fleet. The green energy chosen is methanol, a low carbon fuel which can be made from biomass gasificationof the renewable electricity and for the hydrogenation of carbon dioxide. This last process results in CO molecules2 captured directly from the atmosphere that undergo a chemical reaction.

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To achieve this, another renewable element is necessary: ​​green hydrogen, which is obtained through electrolysis of water using sustainable energy such as wind or photovoltaic. It is later, through chemical processes, when it is accompanied by CO2, but in much lower doses than fossil fuel and, therefore, less polluting.

The current alternative is liquefied natural gas

As green methanol finds its way into shipping, it already has an alternative fuel. Its about liquefied natural gas (LNG)which requires insulated tanks capable of maintaining an extremely cold temperature to preserve its liquid state.


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