Earth Day 2022- Net-zero carbon economies
On this Earth Day, with countries stepping up the efforts to achieve net-zero carbon economies, it is imperative to focus on immediate solutions that can support the energy transition.
Methanol is an immediate solution that can support growing energy needs and facilitate a smoother energy transition. As a liquid at ambient temperature and pressure and as a widely traded commodity, methanol can be easily stored and handled with existing infrastructure. Conventional methanol produced from natural gas reduces sulphur oxide, nitrate oxide, and particulate matter. Methanol can have extremely low greenhouse gas intensities if produced from renewable feedstocks such as agricultural waste, municipal solid waste, and captured carbon with green hydrogen.
Hard to abate industries including chemicals and shipping have touted renewable methanol as a promising solution for reducing GHG footprint. Industries such as steel, cement, and power utility can lower their emissions by producing renewable methanol from carbon dioxide emissions captured at their facilities. NTPC has planned to set up a CO2 to methanol plant at NTPC Vindhyachal to demonstrate an environment-friendly technology for producing green fuels and chemicals.
Renewable methanol offers vast potential to reap significant socio-economic benefits. India’s waste generation has doubled in the last couple of years.
If adequate processes are developed to efficiently process and recycle waste, new economic value can be generated in the form of chemicals and fuels such as methanol. The potential to transform “waste” into a valued product such as renewable methanol can support new investments in technological innovations that tackle pollution by bolstering the country’s circular economy. These investments would go a long way to enhance livelihoods and provide economic opportunities. Waste to methanol facilitates reducing the quantity of waste for its safe disposal, energy independence, and sustainability.
Concentrated efforts to promote alternative fuels like methanol can foster an inclusive energy landscape for effectively achieving targets for climate mitigation and energy security.
Also read- Earth Day – Invest in our planet