The construction of the methanol plant built by the innovation company Carbon Recycling International CRI, located in Svartsengi on the Reykjanes peninsula is now complete. According to Benedikt Stefánsson Director of Business Operations “Testing of the plant is underway 10 days ago and we are analyzing the results. ” “We have not decided a date but the aim is to begin full production in November. ”Says Benedikt.
The plant is located 500 meters from the HS Orka plant in Svartsengi. The concept is to produce renewable methanol from the waste steam from the HS Orka plant. According to Benedikt the waste steam consists of steam, and emission gas of which 90% of the waste steam is CO2.
“This technology is a decade old and has proven been that it is possible to produce methanol through the catalytic conversion of CO2 .It was not until recently that the technology was developed to convert CO2 to liquid methanol outside of a laboratory environment. ” says Benedikt. The factory will receive its power from the HS Orka power plant which is located nearby. ExportThe production capacity of the renewable methanol plant, is 2 million liters per year. It can be scaled up to 5 million liters a year. CRI has been in negotiations with Landsvirkjun to build an industrial scale plant in Krafla.
The production capacity of the plant in Krafla for export would be 50 million liters a year. “ The methanol will be added to gasoline. We are the first company in the world to produce renewable methanol out of hydrogen and CO2” says Benedikt, he adds “ according to the European Union regulations, a 3 % blend of methanol can be added to gasoline. Our goal is to produce a fuel that is compatible with all gasoline vehicles as they are today. Iceland has a long way to go to catch up to other countries when it comes to utilizing renewable fuel.”
Written on a napkin
According to Benedict , CRI´s plant in Svartsengi is innovation in its purest form. He says that the idea was created on a napkin six years ago. Since then it has been developed in a laboratory in Höfðabakka, with the aid of a grant from Rannis. Last year, shareholders made the decision to build the plant. The plant now stands ready for full operation and will soon begin production.
The investment behind the plant totals 15 million dollars. Cri has 50 shareholders. The largest investor in CRI is Titan Investments which is owned by Skúli Mogensenwho is one of the directors of the board of CRI. Other directors are Sindri Sindrason, chairman of the board and Tanya Zharov who represents Auður Capital. The CEO of Carbon Recycling is American K-C Tran.