Methanol car fleet test yields positive results

CRI, in collaboration with its Chinese partners Geely, has completed a joint fleet test program to run six Geely M100 Methanol cars on CRI's brand of renewable methanol in Iceland -Vulcanol(TM) which is the most advanced methanol fuel available on the market. CRI managed the implementation of the program in Iceland with local partners, Brimborg car dealership and service provider.

The  regular looking sedan,  goes by the name Geely Emigrand M100. It is equipped with two fuel tanks, one for renewable methanol and other for gasoline which is used for cold starts only. The Emigrand's interior and features are the same as in vehicles fuelled by other energy sources, including leather seats, comfortable leg room as well as a back-up camera and key-less entry.

Having been in daily use in Iceland by CRI staff and external drivers since April 2016, the cars have demonstrated positive performance both from an environmental and an economic perspective. With more than 70% reduction in CO2 emissions compared to cars running on traditional fossil fuels, the Geely Emigrand exhibits the critical implications methanol-fuelled transport can have on the development of a more sustainable future.

Economically, the cars are comparable to conventional similar sized cars, whether they run on fossil fuel or electric powered motors, or a hybrid of the two.

The achieved results give reason to proceed to further trials, involving more vehicles from Geely being imported to Iceland. We at CRI are proud to be active participants in the project which has great potential to prove relevant to governments seeking to comply with their obligations of lowering CO2 emissions.

First Minister of Scotland visits CRI

On Thursday October 12th, CRI was honored to receive a visit from First
Minister of Scotland, Ms. Nicola Sturgeon, to Carbon Recycling
International's George Olah CO2-to-methanol plant.

The First Minister came to Iceland to attend the Arctic Circle Assembly, an
annual gathering in Reykjavik of governments, organizations and
corporations with an interest in securing a sustainable future for the
arctic region.

Director of Sales and Marketing at CRI, Ómar Sigurbjörnsson, took Ms.
Sturgeon and her staff on a tour of the production plant and explained
CRI's unique process, which produces renewable methanol by combining
CO2 and hydrogen, generated from water with electricity from renewable
sources. The plant is the first of its kind and demonstrates the technical and
economic feasibility of production of low carbon intensity fuels and
chemicals with carbon capture and utilization. 

When asked about the potential for collaboration between Scotland and
Iceland in a subsequent interview with Icelandic Channel 2 TV,  Ms. Sturgeon
said "...I went to visit Carbon Recycling International, out near the
Blue lagoon, and learned a lot there about how they're using CO2 to
create methanol clean energy. There's a lot for us to learn there."

At the Artic Circle Assembly, the Minister remarked “...with
Scotland employing almost 60,000 people in low carbon industries,
there is still scope for significant further growth. Our northern
nation neighbours are obvious partners in this. Scotland is taking an
increasingly prominent role in the work of the Arctic Circle Assembly
and associated cooperation, and I believe there are clear benefits for
us all by forming closer ties.”

Paul Wuebben CRI’s Senior Director for Fuel Applications receives lifetime achievement award

Paul Wuebben, Senior Director for Fuel Applications at Carbon Recycling International (CRI), is the first recipient of the George A. Olah Memorial Lifetime Achievement Award. The award was presented by Professor Olah’s long-time collaborator, Professor Suryah Prakash  to Mr. Wuebben during the Washington Methanol Policy Forum 2017, held at the National Press Club in Washington DC on June 13.

At CRI, Mr. Wuebben has represented the company at numerous forums and participates in development of the company's commercialisation strategy for renewable methanol. He also serves on the Methanol Institute’s fuel blending committee and participates in other activities related to the standardisation and implementation of methanol blending and use. In 2016 Mr. Wuebben was in charge of organising CRI’s first Global Symposium on Advancing Methanol Engines for Sustainable Transport, held in Reykjavik. 

“We are proud to have Paul Wuebben as a part of the CRI team and congratulate him on this well deserved lifetime achievement award. In his previous role in government, Paul confronted a large share of the issues involved in promoting methanol as a fuel and energy carrier. Based on this unique experience, Paul has brought in a valuable perspective for our activities in commercialising CRI’s ETL technology and methanol as a sustainable transport fuel,” said Sindri Sindrason, Chief Executive of CRI.

Prior to joining CRI, Mr. Wuebben served as the first Clean Fuels Officer for the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) in California, responsible for technology development and commercialisation of alternative transport fuels.  He helped organise the largest fleet trial of commercial methanol vehicles in the world, which at its peak involved close to 20.000 privately owned flex-fuel vehicles and distribution of methanol fuel at gas stations throughout Southern California.  He managed the nation's first alternative fuel vehicle R&D program, and served as the Clean Fuel Advisor to the Chairman of the California Air Resources Board and the Clean Energy Advisor to the Secretary of the California Environmental Protection Agency.  He also served as the Chairman of the multi-agency California Electric Vehicle Task Force in 1990.  

His interest in developing methanol as an alternative fuel and renewable energy carrier eventually earned him the nickname “Mr. Methanol” among his peers. 

Mr. Wuebben received a Master of City Planning degree from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design and a B.A. degree Magna Cum Laude, History/Urban Studies from UCLA. He also completed course work at the Harvard School of Public Health as an EPA Fellow. He is the author and co-author of numerous papers and presentations on the use of methanol, as well as other issues related to alternative renewable transport fuels and electric mobility.

The Washington Methanol Policy Forum 2017 brought together industry leaders, energy policy experts, congressional and executive branch officials, academics and the media to share information about methanol's global penetration of the transportation fuel market and its implications for the U.S. economy. This is the fourth such forum organised in the US and Europe by the Methanol Institute, a trade organisation representing the global methanol industry. 

Professor George Olah, 1994 Nobel laureate and member of CRI's Board of Advisors, passed away in March 2017 at the age of 89. His influential book "Beyond Oil and Gas: The Methanol Economy" popularized the idea of methanol as an energy carrier and carbon neutral replacement for fossil transport fuels.  CRI's first industrial scale CO2-to-methanol production plant in Iceland, which was inaugurated in 2012, was named in honor of Professor Olah.