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.