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How Methanol is Produced

How is Methanol Produced?

While today we produce methanol from natural gas, methanol can also be made from renewable sources, such as renewable natural gas, biomass and green hydrogen combined with recycled carbon dioxide. Methanex is studying the feasibility of converting our existing assets to produce lower-carbon intensity methanol. We are committed to pursuing opportunities to make incremental, staged investments that could facilitate the transition of our existing assets, where feasible, to produce lower-carbon methanol.



Methanol Types and Production Methods

Select a type of methanol to learn more
Brown Methanol

Produced from coal, a non-renewable feedstock which is ~5 times higher in carbon intensity than methanol produced using natural gas.

Natural Gas
Grey Methanol

Produced from Natural Gas, a non-renewable/fossil fuel feedstock.

The majority of the methanol that we produce at Methanex is grey methanol.

Blue Methanol

Produced from a process that uses Carbon Capture and Storage (CCUS). Carbon capture technology has the potential to reduce an estimated 90 per cent of a manufacturing site’s scope 1 GHG emissions.

In 2022, Methanex confirmed the technical feasibility of carbon capture and storage at our Geismar and Medicine Hat sites. We plan to invest an additional $1 million in 2023 to refine the potential scope and increase certainty around key assumptions for a CCUS investment in Geismar.

Renewable Electricity

Produced using green hydrogen (ie hydrogen produced with renewable electricity), which when combined with CO2 captured from renewable sources (eg via bioenergy with CCS or Direct Air Capture) creates green methanol.

In 2023, we will conduct a technical and economic feasibility study of using green hydrogen at existing plants to produce methanol with a lower carbon intensity.

Renewable Natural Gas

Produced from renewable natural gas (sourced from landfills, sewage plants or animal manure farms) -> We have received International Sustainability & Carbon Certification (ISCC) for bio-methanol production from renewable natural gas at our Geismar site in the U.S.

Produced from biomass feedstock -> Potential sustainable biomass feedstocks include but are not limited to (I) forestry and agricultural waste by products (ii) municipal solid waste and (iii) black liquor from the pulp and paper industry.

High Carbon Intensity
Low Carbon Intensity
Marine Fuel