CRI’s power-to-methanol technology at steel manufacturing plant in Sweden

Carbon Recycling International (CRI) and a consortium of European industrial firms and research institutions have been awarded an €11 million grant under the EU’s Horizon2020 programme to implement CRI’s Emissions-to-Liquids technology in a Swedish steel manufacturing plant, demonstrating how residual blast furnace gases can be turned into liquid fuel. The project, entitled FreSMe will be implemented in the Swerea MEFOS facility in Luleå, Sweden.

Steel manufacturing is associated with a number of byproducts, including carbon dioxide (CO2) as well as more energy rich gas which is used for steam and electricity production. Capturing and utilising surplus energy and CO2 in a the conversion process developed by CRI will reduce the carbon footprint of steel production and recycle greenhouse gas emissions in the form of methanol, a liquid fuel currently used in cars and ships.

The low carbon intensity methanol produced from the carbon capture and synthesis plant will be utilised by one of the consortium partners, Swedish ferry operator Stena which operates the world’s first methanol fuelled passenger ferry, the Stena Germanica. Methanol is emerging as a strong alternative to marine fuels derived from oil, as strict regulations on sulphur emissions from ships have been introduced in designated emission control areas within Northern-Europe and North America and will be implemented globally in 2020.

The FreSMe project will leverage infrastructure from the Stepwise research project, at the Swerea MEFOS facility in Luleå, which separates CO2 from blast furnace gas and from the MefCO2 project which demonstrates how CRI’s technology canutilise intermittent renewable electricity sources. A newly built pipeline connecting the SSAB steel plant in Luleå to Swerea MEFOS will also be used to feed gas to the carbon capture and methanol synthesis plant.

In addition to CRI, Swerea MEFOS, SSAB and Stena over half a dozen industrial firms and research institutes from six European countries will participate in the FreSMe consortium. Otherpartners include Tata Steel Netherlands, Kisuma Chemicals (Netherlands), Array Industries (Netherlands) and leading Dutch research institute ECN.

“This project will demonstrate that our Emissions-to-Liquids technology is a cost-effective solution for carbon capture and utilisation in steel manufacturing plants,” says Sindri Sindrason, CEO of CRI. “It further demonstrates the versatility of CRI’s ETL technology, which will enable the large scale replacement of oil distillates such as gasoline and diesel with low carbon intensity fuel from a large variety of energy sources.” 

CRI produces renewable methanol, under the brand name Vulcanol, at its Emissions-to-Liquids production facility in Grindavik, Iceland. CRI technology catalytically converts hydrogen and CO2 into renewable methanol. Methanol, one of the most common chemical feedstocks, is widely used in gasoline blending, for biodiesel production and production of chemical derivatives.



Photo: Torbjörn Tapani

Methanol is the marine fuel of the future

Methanol as a marine fuel of the future was in focus in the conference Making Marine Applications Greener which was held in Reykjavik on October 4.

The goal of the conference was to establish a dialogue between Nordic players involved in relevant maritime projects and those interested in new ones. Low- and zero emission solutions for the maritime sector are becoming an increasingly important topic for governments and authorities in the Nordic countries.

Methanol is a great maritime fuel as it is clean burning and biodegradable. With green methanol, such as produces by CRI‘s Emissions-to-Liquids technology, CO2 emissions can reduced up to 100%.

For Iceland and increasing shipping traffic in the Arctic, these qualities are specifically important as soot speeds up glacier and icebergs melting and potential oil spills could have a devastating effect on fisheries and wildlife in the Arctic Circle. 

Another benefit of methanol is its long history of safe handling and can be implemented with minor modification to current ship designs and fuel infrastructure with low cost relative to other clean fuel conversions.

Cleaner low emission marine fuel is getting increased traction with the fishing industry both as part of the image of sustainable fishing, positive effects on health and spirit of crew and higher value of end product that has a low CO2 footprint. Also, stricter regulations on emissions are anticipated in the near future.

Several projects and initiatives running on methanol as a fuel are in place and were presented at the conference.

For example S-Korean and Japanese shipyards are building 9 large methanol tankers, 6 of which will be delivered to Methanex in 2016. These 50.000 ton ships will operate on MAN ME-LGI flex-fuel engines which can run on methanol, bunker fuel, marine diesel or gasoline. In addition, Stena Line Sweden has converted a 1,300 passenger ferry with a flex-fuel engine from Wärtsilä. The main engine can burn methanol and marine diesel.

At the conference, awards for the Sustainable Ship Competition were announced and for both proposals, Vulcanol played a key role. 

First prize was awarded to Rensea 3G for a proposal of a multipurpose sustainable ship with wide sails that capture both wind and solar power - and a spare engine powered by environmentally friendly energy sources, such as methanol.

Runner up was a proposal of a 48 meter long liner specially designed to optimize energy efficiency and emissions from all of the ships operations. The ship will have 1,200 kW electric propulsion motor, 800 kWh batteries and 3,400 kW main engines methanol fueled. The project consortium consists of Hafið, Klappir, Skipasýn, Viðskiptahúsið and Rensea. 

Mr Kim-Chinh Tran Steps Down as CEO of CRI ehf.

Reykjavik, 24 June 2016

Mr K-C Tran, a co-founder and the CEO of CRI ehf. since its formation in Iceland in 2006, has decided to step down from his position as CEO, after steering the company through the initial stages of its operations in the field of renewable methanol and turning it into a recognised world leader in power-to-methanol technology.

Today, CRI produces renewable methanol from carbon dioxide, hydrogen and electricity for energy storage, fuel applications and efficiency enhancement. The company is a technology provider to the power generation and industrial production industries. CRI’s solutions are environmentally friendly and have a minimum effect on land use. 

Mr Tran intends to devote his time to consultancy work and lecturing. He will also assist CRI’s Advisory Board, which consists of some of the leading international scientists in the field of renewable energy and methanol production. Mr Tran continues to be a shareholder in CRI.

Mr Sindri Sindrason, the Chairman of the Board of Directors of CRI since 2008, will take over the CEO’s responsibilities and become Executive Chairman. Mr. Sindrason has extensive experience in leading the operations of international product and services companies. He was the CEO of Pharmaco/Actavis, an international pharmaceutical company and he also served as the Chairman of Eimskip, an international shipping and logistics company.

Mr K-C Tran: “I have now decided to step down as the CEO of CRI after ten years of hard, exciting work and where a number of important milestones have been reached in the life of the company. It is with great pride that I leave the company with solid foundations and an exciting future. It gives me an immense pleasure to have been a member of the team that created a leading company in the field of power-to-methanol technology and I look forward to taking part in CRI’s further success.”

Mr. Sindri Sindrason: “CRI, together with its shareholders and management, are grateful for the important vision and leadership that K-C Tran has provided to the company over the last ten years. K-C leaves the company in a great place and poised for an exciting future. I very much look forward to taking on the role as Executive Chairman of CRI and to leading the company to the next stage in its development, together with its highly competent and dedicated employees.”

CRI awarded grant for market development


The Icelandic Technology Development Fund ( has awarded CRI with a 10 million ISK grant to expand its efforts in sales and marketing of its technology solutions and services in Europe and China. CRI will be offering technology that has been developed and demonstrated in Iceland for the past several years to energy and industrial companies. CRI‘s technolgy utilizes surplus or under utilized sources of energy and materials in the form of hydrogen and carbon dioxide to produce methanol.

The technology solutions can improve the control and utilization of high shares of intermittent renewable energy on the electrical grid.

Power to Fuel processes have gained attention in recent years as a solution to the storage of surplus energy, increasing energy security and supply of sustainable fuels.

Carbon Recycling International launches fleet test of Geely Emgrand 7 methanol powered vehicles

A fleet test of six Geely methanol powered vehicles (MPVs) fueled by renewable methanol will be launched by Carbon Recycling International (CRI) in Iceland in April. The Geely Emgrand 7 vehicles are the first such vehicles to be tested in Europe.

CRI in collaboration with Geely and Reykjavik based automotive services company Brimborg will implement a comprehensive fleet test program, where Geely MPVs will be operated on Vulcanol®, CRI’s brand of renewable methanol produced since 2012 in Iceland. The fleet test program will be implemented in three phases over a period of up to three years with the initial testing phase starting in April 2016.

Geely has provided six Emgrand 7 vehicles, model year 2015 for the test. The vehicles sport a 1.8 L spark-plug ignited flex-fuel engine capable of operating on unblended methanol, with regular gasoline as pilot fuel.  For the duration of the test the vehicles will be operated on Vulcanol™, CRI’s brand of renewable methanol which is produced from recycled CO2 emissions with Icelandic grid electricity, which is 100% from renewable sources. CRI, Geely and Brimborg will share technical results and plan to leverage the experience of this fleet test in joint promotion, marketing and commercial deployment of MPVs in Iceland and other European countries.

“CRI developed the power-to-methanol process with the vision that distributed low carbon intensity methanol production based on local feedstocks and energy has the potential to rapidly replace the use of fossil fuels, such as gasoline and diesel. Iceland presents optimal conditions both for the fuel production and deployment of vehicles which run on methanol from renewable power, which is essentially liquid electricity,” said KC Tran, CEO and co-founder of Carbon Recycling International. “Geely is a pioneer in developing this new generation of low emission vehicles and we are very excited about the opportunity to combine forces to test and demonstrate our fuel and Geely’s car technology in Iceland, with the broader European market in mind.”

Picture: Mr. KC Tran CEO of Carbon Recycling International with one of the Geely Emgrand 7 vehicles, powered by Vulcanol®.