Efforts are on to develop alternative fuels so that dependency on petrol is reduced. The demand for global methanol market is growing especially in transportation sector, as methanol consist of a liquid fuel that has demonstrated a successful displacement for diesel and gasoline. It is estimated that renewable methanol offers reduction in carbon emission ranging from 65 percent to 95 percent.
The largest use of methanol is in making chemicals. About 40% of methanol is converted into formaldehyde, and from there into several diverse products like plywood, paints, plastics, explosives, and permanent press textiles. Investments, government support & regulations, and environmental concerns are driving the increased acceptance of the global renewable methanol market.
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Global renewable methanol is bifurcated into three categories on the basis of product type,
- Formaldehyde (in 2014 major single downstream market for global renewable methanol, with approximately 21 million tons of methanol consumed for formaldehyde production i.e. 28% of global demand)
- Acetic acid
- Methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE).
It is projected that in the future, the demand for renewable methanol will increase by over 100 million tons. The bulk of this demand is generated by China (world’s largest methanol consumer and producer). The U.S. is another significant dynamic supplier of methanol. By 2018, the US is expected to become a net exporter of methanol.
Some of the major companies operating in the global renewable methanol market are, Eastman Chemicals, Biomethanol Chemie Nederland B.V., BASF, Blue Fuel Energy, Petronas, and Celanese, Mitsubishi chemicals, Statoil, and VärmlandsMetanol.
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