Regarding the integration of methanol fuel into the national energy system

By March 8, 2021March 9th, 2021China Methanol, Methanol Vehicles

The Chamber of Commerce’s proposal to integrate methanol fuel into the national energy system and regulate its popularization and application

National Federation of Industry and Commerce, and Petroleum Chamber of Commerce

March 8, 2021

Methanol is an important basic chemical raw material and the only clean energy that can be used on a large scale in liquid fuels. The 14th Five-Year Plan of the CPC Central Committee proposes to achieve the goal of “more rational allocation of energy resources and greatly improved efficiency”. Establishing the energy status of methanol fuel and developing methanol economy are in line with the national energy strategy and are important ways to realize our commitment to achieve our commitment to achieve a carbon emission peak by 2035 and a carbon-medium vision by 2060.

1. The development of methanol energy is in line with China’s national conditions

China is the world’s largest energy consumer, its own energy structure is lack of oil, less gas, rich in coal, with crude oil external dependence of more than 70%. The development and promotion of methanol fuel is conducive to giving full play to the advantages of China’s coal resources, promoting the transformation and upgrading of traditional industries, and conducive to the realizion China’s energy diversification, improving energy structure, and ensuring energy security.

Compared with alternative fuels such as ethanol, hydrogen energy and kerosene, methanol fuel has the advantages of wide source of raw materials, abundant resources, high economic performance and low energy consumption. Compared with traditional fuels, methanol fuel is cleaner and more environmentally friendly. Methanol’s high efficiency, safety and other aspects have obvious advantages. At present, China’s methanol production uses coal as the main raw material. In the long run, hydrogen and carbon dioxide can be used for catalytic synthesis to achieve carbon neutrality.

2. The basic conditions for incorporating methanol into China’s energy system and establishing its industrial status have been met.

The technology is basically mature. After many years of research and development breakthroughs, technology accumulation and industrialization practices, the technical momentum, corrosiveness, toxicity, economic and other obstacles have been fundamentally lifted, and industrialized applications have been realized.

The application scenarios are broad. Methanol is an excellent clean fuel for vehicles and ships. As an clean fuel for industrial and civil use instead of bulk coal, it is also widely used in many fields such as boilers and kilns, catering, hot water and heating.

The conditions for industrialization have matured. China has now formed a complete management system for methanol fuel technology, management, operation, service, safety, etc., which can provide a full range of technical and management support for the industrialized application of methanol fuel, and has formed an entire industrial chain from preparation, storage and transportation, supply to application.

By the end of 2020, China’s total methanol production capacity reached 101.5 million tons, and the effective production capacity was around 97 million tons, accounting for more than 60% of world production. China is already the world’s largest producer and consumer of methanol.

At present, China’s methanol application technology in the fields of automobiles, gasoline, civil fuels, boilers and other fields is at the international leading level. Whether it is technical reserves, production equipment, or engineering construction capacity, it is fully equipped with the basis for comprehensive promotion and application, and has the conditions for extensive international cooperation.

The large-scale promotion and application of methanol as an alternative fuel can drive the transformation and upgrading of related industries, and create new industries such as methanol fuel preparation, storage, distribution, application and aftermarket services.

3. The promotion of methanol fuel needs policy support

At present, the competent government departments have not confirmed the application properties of methanol as fuel, and methanol fuel has not been included in the scope of national new energy. The classification of methanol from a chemical product to a fuel requires national policy support.

The promotion of methanol fuel lacks effective policy guidance and support, which makes the production and sales of methanol fuel and the approval and construction of filling stations lack policy basis. Its popularization and application has always been the market behavior of enterprises, without government financial support. The support for methanol vehicle pilot programs and methanol fuel promotion and application policies is far less than new energy electric vehicles and ethanol fuel.

Therefore, it is difficult to promote the application of methanol as a clean fuel to reduce carbon emissions. In order to promote the high quality and healthy development of the methanol industry, it is suggested to:

  1. Incorporate methanol as a clean fuel into the national energy system. Promugate policy promotion and application documents with universal guiding significance, clarify the management and responsible departments for the entire process of methanol fuel promotion and application, establish an industry standards system for methanol fuel application, formulate systematic and complete standards, specifications, and regulations, strengthen industry supervision and planning, to ensure the high quality and healthy development of the methanol fuel industry.
  2. Formulate relevant policies and implementation rules to promote the promotion and application of methanol fuel and methanol vehicles as soon as possible.¬†Increase policy support for the promotion, application and research and development of methanol fuel; add major national science and technology projects to promote the development, application and innovation of new energy series technologies and equipment using methanol as fuel to ensure China’s leading position in the international development of methanol fuel application technology and industries.
  3. Carry out demonstration work on methanol fuel in different applications. Select areas where conditional permit and establish methanol fuel demonstration application areas to promote the vigorous development of methanol fuel industry.