Chemical Precursors (55%)
As the simplest alcohol, methanol is used in the production of many secondary chemicals.
- Many of these, such as MMA, chloromethane, and acetic acid, are important in polymer production.
- Others, such as methylamine, are used in pharmaceuticals.
- Methanol - to - Olefin / Paraffin produces other feedstock chemicals.
Formaldehyde production is the main use of methanol, accounting for 29 % of global production.
- Formaldehyde is used in the production of a wide range of plastics and resins, such as melamine and formica.
Fuels and additives (34%)
- Methanol can be used as a fuel, both directly and through blending with gasoline.
- It can be used to produce other fuel additives such as MTBE.
- It features prominently in the production of biodiesel, and in the production of dimethyl ether, a green diesel substitute.
Other uses (11%)
- As well as being used as a common solvent, methanol has many uses in the energy industry.
- Methanol is useful for both hydrogen and energy storage
- It can be used in Methanol Fuel Cells, which have higher energy density than Li batteries
James Hayward and Michael Bowker
Cardiff Catalysis Institute
School of Chemistry