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Using a Danish design, the proposed methane plant in Plaquemines Parish has been made smaller and greener. The aim is to use hydrogen power for making an ultra-low carbon methanol.

A $3 billion methanol complex proposed for Plaquemines Parish is being trimmed to half its initial estimated size and upgraded to a near zero-emission, hydrogen-fueled plant to meet demands for ultralow-carbon methanol. Through a process developed by the Danish firm Haldor Topsoe, the IGP Methanol plant will use hydrogen for heat so water vapor, not carbon dioxide, escapes in its exhaust. Randall Harris, chief science officer for IGP, said work could begin on the 140-acre site near Myrtle Grove later this summer. It will take about 3½ years to build out the whole complex, initially projected to go into operation last year. The project will support about 3,000 construction jobs at its peak and create about 325 permanent jobs. “Our Gulf Coast Methanol Park design was already the global leader in ultralow emissions,” said James Lamoureaux, chairman and co-founder of IGP Methanol, but the partnership with Haldor Topsoe “changes the game for world-scale methanol from this point forward.”

Methanol is the basis for many products. It has the potential to be a fuel for cars and trucks replacing both gasoline and diesel. It can be a replacement fuel for homes and cooking. It can be used in power stations and rail engines.

IGP originally planned for the complex to contain four plants, each producing 1.8 million tons of methanol annually. But the size of the facility has been cut in half because of market concerns about the concentration of methanol plants on the Gulf Coast, Harris said. Carbontech plants that will process the carbon dioxide into products that lock up the carbon will take up the other half of the complex. Some of the products that will be produced with the carbon include polymers and calcium carbonate, which is used in building materials and cement. There are estimates that carbontech products can use more than 15% of worldwide carbon emissions in the next few decades.

In a sense, this seems too good to be true but the science is there. I am sure we will hear more about this in the future.

Plaquemines Methane Plant Smaller and Greener
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