Given India’s expanding energy portfolio with a significant interest in alternative fuels, there is a growing focus on building a hydrogen economy. While the country’s hydrogen economy goal is ambitious, hydrogen will require investments and time for its production technologies to reach maturity and significant investments will have to be made into constructing hydrogen-ready infrastructure.
In the meantime, methanol can bridge existing gaps as a hydrogen carrier to enable the immediate adoption of hydrogen applications. Methanol Institute – a global trade association, representing the world’s leading methanol producers, distributors, and technology companies has expressed its support towards this notion.
“To achieve realistic goals, India needs to focus on adopting a progressive roadmap that involves practical solutions that can ultimately realize the country’s hydrogen aspirations.” said Methanol Institute India Representative Prakriti Sethi. She further added, “Methanol has the highest hydrogen to carbon ratio of any liquid fuel, and thus circumvents the common challenges associated with storing, transporting, and utilizing hydrogen. Methanol enables the immediate adoption of hydrogen.”
Methanol is a globally traded commodity with a production capacity of 148 million metric tons(MMT) to meet the demand of nearly 100 MMT globally.
There exists a mature global supply chain that can be leveraged to safely distribute, store, and transport methanol as a hydrogen carrier. These supply chains exist in India today and can readily support the delivery of methanol to end-users who will reform it into hydrogen for their necessary applications in a cost-effective manner.
Methanol’s adoption as a hydrogen carrier allows the Indian economy to build the foundation of its future hydrogen economy. Investments in methanol production, utilization, and infrastructure supporting its logistic are investments made for a future hydrogen economy that deliver immediate economic returns today.
Methanol Institute recently published a white paper titled “Methanol fuelling India’s hydrogen aspirations”along with an infographic that details the role of methanol as a hydrogen carrier in the current energy landscape. The paper presents the potential of methanol as a hydrogen carrier, addresses policy gaps in the Indian context, and proposes recommendations to promote faster adoption of methanol and hydrogen.