Landsvirkjun, The National Power Company of Iceland, and German investment company PCC SE have agreed to jointly explore the possibility of capturing and utilizing carbon emissions from PCC’s silicon metal plant in northeast Iceland. Carbon emissions will be utilized to produce green methanol that can replace fossil fuel in ships and industry.
Green methanol will play a role in mitigating climate change
Methanol is not only a liquid chemical used in thousands of products of daily use, but green methanol is seen by many as a promising alternative energy carrier to fossil fuels and has the potential to play a key role in decarbonizing shipping vessels. The production of green methanol requires a renewable carbon source from PCC’s silicon metal plant in Iceland and renewable power from Landsvirkjun´s power stations. The process of methanol synthesis requires the input of pure carbon dioxide and hydrogen from water electrolysis, with the only by-product being oxygen and water. Turning carbon dioxide from waste into a valuable resource by utilizing and producing fuel for industries will help mitigate climate change and the transition to a circular economy.
Silicon metals used in innovative solutions for energy transition
PCC SE aims for their silicon metal plant at Húsavík to become carbon neutral by replacing fossil carbon reductants in their production with renewable alternatives. The plant at Bakki emits about 150,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide annually due to the nature of the chemical reaction that reduces quartzite (SiO2) with a carbon reductant to produce silicon metal. Catching and utilizing the emitted renewable carbon to produce green methanol would improve the carbon footprint of ships and industry utilizing such fuel and on top improve the carbon footprint of PCC’s silicon metal plant beyond carbon neutrality. Furthermore, the nature of silicon metals is such that without it, we would neither see the current stellar performance of solar power in the European Union, nor innovative solutions such as next generation battery anodes, which are key to higher capacities.
Peter Wenzel, CEO PCC SE:
“We are ready to take the next step at PCC BakkiSilicon; capture carbon emissions from our production and utilise for the energy transition. Our operations are already on track for carbon neutrality, but the production of green methanol, which can be used as maritime fuel, would certainly be a milestone.”
Hörður Arnarson, CEO Landsvirkjun:
“We at Landsvirkjun welcome the opportunity to collaborate on a green solution with a good customer. The energy transition is urgent, especially in the fleet. If we can use our renewable electricity to produce green methanol at PCC BakkiSilicon, we are one step closer to a green future.”