Reducing emissions in the marine sector: Official launch of the M2ARE project for low-carbon methanol

Air Liquide, together with MAN Energy Solutions and ETA Florence Renewable Energies have announced the launch of their 'Maritime Methanol' project under the name of M2ARE.

The aim of M2ARE is to develop and demonstrate a new grade of low-cost and low-carbon methanol for the shipping sector using biogenic CO2 and renewable H2.

The methanol is expected to have a CO2 emission reduction of more than 80% compared to conventional maritime fuels on a well-to-wake basis (the entire process of fuel production, delivery and use onboard ships, and all emissions produced therein). The project is a response to the high demand for decarbonised maritime fuels and it aims to have a methanol synthesis demonstration plant operational in Frankfurt by mid-2027.

M2ARE has listed a few projected outcomes in their press release:

  • "The assessment and qualification of bio-CO2 from sources such as biogas, biomass combustion, bioethanol, and pulp & paper plants for their feasibility in the methanol synthesis. 
  • An improved methanol process using a new reactor system based on process intensification and a simplified methanol purification. 
  • A unique process to convert bio-CO2 with fluctuating H2 coming from renewable energy sources into flexible grades of Maritime Methanol that will be validated through a series of engine tests. 
  • A digital model of the whole value chain from CO2 and H2 through to the maritime fuel will be developed to de-risk the technology and boost its scale-up."

With a consortium possessing broad expertise across the value chain (also in cooperation with academic partners from CERTH, Sant’Anna, LRGP and TU Delft), the M2ARE project strives to push technological boundaries, contributing to economic and environmental targets for low-carbon methanol in the maritime sector.