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Carbon Recycling International starts construction at Svartsengi plant

Alexander Richter 19 Oct 2009

celandic-American firm Carbon Recycling International (CRI) starts construction of its CO2-to-methanol plant at the Svartsengi Geothermal Power Plant of HS Orka.

Icelandic-American firm Carbon Recycling International (CRI) starts construction of its CO2-to-methanol plant at the Svartsengi Geothermal Power Plant of HS Orka. Production is expected to start in a year from now.The official start was celebrated this past Saturday.

At the plant CO2 emissions of the power plant of HS Orka will be used to produce methanol fuel for cars. While using carbon emissions from a geothermal plant now, the same technology could be used at any carbon emission generating facility, e.g. at the aluminum smelters in Iceland. A truly exciting technology.

Carbon Recycling International is an American-Icelandic firm, which will be the first in the world to generate methanol this way. In the first phase about two million tonnes of methanol will be produced using about three million tonnes of CO2 emissions from the Svartsengi plant.

Production will start in a about one year and then all gas sold by Icelandic gas station chain Olís will be a blend of gas with methanol.

The company has worked the last 3 years hard on making this project possible and the cost for the plant are estimated to be one billion ISK (Unnið hefur verið að verkefninu síðastliðin þrjú ár og kostnaðurinn við verksmiðjuna er um einn milljarður króna (US$ 8 million).

Present at the official start of construction were KC Tran, the CEO of CRI, Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, the president of Icleand and Georg Olah, Nobel Prize Laureate, Chemistry. Georg Olah is part of the Advisory Board of Carbon Recycling International.

Description of the firm by Cleantech Group: “Based in Iceland, Carbon Recycling International is targeting converting CO2 from emission stacks it into the renewable fuels methanol and DME. CEO K.C. Tran said the company is initially targeting geothermal plants, but expected the approach to be particularly appropriate for the aluminum and ferrosilicon plants of Iceland. The company combines captured and cleaned CO2 with hydrogen from electrolysis. The resultant methanol could be used for fuel cells or blended into gasoline. In a 10 percent blend, Tran said the gas would get the same mileage as 95 octane fuel.”

Source: Grindavik.is/ visir.is (in Icelandic), Cleantech.