Dastur Energy targets green methanol from captured CO2

Dastur Energy is working with Carbon Recycling International (CRI) among others to scale carbon capture, utilisation, and storage (CCUS) in India.

The energy company aims to produce green methanol from captured carbon dioxide (CO2), and selling green methanol at a premium.

Atanu Mukherjee, CEO, Dastur Energy, said, “You can sell it in local markets, although that will be a little more expensive currently, given the current scale of technology. But you can certainly sell to export markets in Europe where there is a significant premium for green methanol produced from carbon dioxide, which more than offsets the additional costs you incur for producing it.”

Dastur Energy is working on a number of technologies involving capture of CO2 from power plants. The CO2 is then turned into useful products, such as methanol, at an industrial scale. Among other uses, the CO2 can produce aggregates for use as building material or road laying material.

Mukherjee said that, while the government has committed 500GW of renewable capacity by 2030, this must be complemented with carbon capture technologies, specifically CCUS.

He said, “There is a multi-pronged approach in terms of how you bring carbon capture utilisation and storage technologies into the fold to complement renewables, so that we can address the overall goal of affordable energy and clean energy, which is reliable and available.”

According to a government advisory, India is expected to launch its draft CCUS policy framework in about six months, with the potential to attract investments of ₹3 lakh crore ($36B) to set up 750 million tonnes per year of carbon dioxide capture capacity by 2050.

As well as developing its own technology to convert CO2 into chemicals such as methanol, Dastur is bringing in outside technology.

It is working with India’s Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) to use CO2 to generate oil from the ageing oilfields at Gandhar in Gujarat, under the enhanced oil recovery programme.

ONGC is working on characterisation of the subsurface, which means exploring how to inject CO2 in the most effective manner to generate as much oil as possible.

It is in talks with NTPC (India’s largest power utility) on various mechanisms of capture and utilisation of CO2 from cement and steel plants.

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