BP Expands Investment in WasteFuel for Bio-Methanol Production

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by | Jul 7, 2023

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Energy company BP has invested $10 million in WasteFuel, a California-based biofuels company to help establish a global network of plants that convert municipal and agricultural waste into bio-methanol, a promising biofuel with lower carbon emissions. This collaboration highlights the potential of bio-methanol in mitigating greenhouse gas emissions, particularly in sectors like shipping. 

WasteFuel’s First Plant in the UAE

With BP’s investment, WasteFuel can accelerate its plans to develop its waste-to-bio-methanol plant in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). WasteFuel aims to convert bio-based municipal and agricultural waste into bio-methanol, a more sustainable fuel alternative. The establishment of this plant marks an important step towards achieving lower carbon solutions for various industries.

Addressing Global Waste Production and Emissions

Globally, solid waste production exceeds 2 billion metric tons annually and is expected to rise to 3.4 billion metric tons by 2050. WasteFuel’s innovative approach, utilizing anaerobic digestion and methanol production technologies, holds the potential to transform municipal and agricultural waste into viable, low-emission alternatives like bio-methanol. This conversion process can significantly contribute to reducing the carbon footprint associated with traditional fuels.

Bio-Methanol’s Role in Decarbonizing Shipping

Bio-methanol has emerged as a key player in decarbonizing hard-to-abate sectors, including shipping. Maritime transport accounts for approximately 90% of global trade but contributes to around 3% of total greenhouse gas emissions. To achieve net-zero emissions, major shipping companies are transitioning to methanol-ready ships.

Recognizing this, BP is actively working to establish a supply of lower-carbon alternative fuels for the shipping industry and plans to utilize its trading expertise to bring WasteFuel’s bio-methanol to the market.

In addition to the investment, BP and WasteFuel have entered into a memorandum of understanding to collaborate on optimizing bio-methanol production yields and economics. This partnership signifies a commitment to further enhance the efficiency of bio-methanol production processes, and both companies aim to use bio-methanol as a sustainable fuel source.

By 2030, BP aims to deliver around 100,000 barrels per day of biofuels.

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