Methanol surge expected to continue

15th March 2024

Methanol surge expected to continue

MAKING METHNOL Methanol is used as a feedstock for the synthesis of numerous chemicals, including formaldehyde, acetic acid and methyl tertiary-butyl ether

In recent years, the demand for methanol has witnessed a significant surge, particularly within the marine and construction industries, states analytical reportage company Persistence Market Research.

The observation of this upward trend prompt- ed Persistence Market Research to conduct a comprehensive market study, which it released last month, to understand the driving forces behind methanol consumption and its projected trajectory in the coming years.

According to market researching firm Markets and Markets the global methanol market was valued at $30.9-billion in 2023 and is projected to reach $38-billion a year by 2028, growing at a 4.2% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) over the forecast period.

Persistence reports that in the dynamic landscape of industrial chemicals, methanol stands out as a “versatile and indispensable” compound, with its applications spanning various sectors, from fuel production to chemical synthesis.

The study on methanol consumption paints a promising outlook for the industry, with robust growth expected in various sectors.

Factors such as increasing environmental awareness, regulatory mandates, and technological advancements in methanol production and use are anticipated to bolster market expansion.

Further, ongoing research and development efforts aimed at enhancing the efficiency and sustainability of methanol production processes are likely to drive innovation within the industry.

Advancements in renewable methanol production, using sources such as biomass and carbon capture technologies, hold the potential to further diversify methanol supply chains and mitigate environmental impacts associated with conventional production methods.

The study underscores methanol’s pivotal role in meeting the evolving needs of diverse industries, particularly in marine and construction applications.

As global initiatives for environmental sustainability gain momentum, methanol emerges as a versatile and ecofriendly solution for addressing energy and resource challenges.

With its widespread adoption and continued technological advancements, methanol is poised to remain a cornerstone of industrial chemistry, driving innovation and sustainable development across various sectors in the years to come, says Persistence Marketing.

The Making of Methanol

Methanol, also known as wood alcohol, is a colourless and volatile liquid with a multitude of industrial applications and is primarily produced through the catalytic conversion of natural gas, coal or biomass feedstocks.

The chemical’s significance lies in its role as a feedstock for the synthesis of numerous chemicals, including formaldehyde, acetic acid and methyl tertiary-butyl ether.

According to Persistence, global methanol consumption is expected to reach $77.6-billion by the end of 2032.

East Asia is anticipated to be the largest consumer of methanol with this regional market expanding at a CAGR of 6.4% over the decade.

Increasing demand for alternative fuels, growing chemical production, and expanding industrial applications are driving market expansion.

Rising Demand in Marine Industry

One of the key drivers behind the increasing consumption of methanol is its growing use in the marine industry, reports Persistence.

Methanol serves as a viable alternative marine fuel, offering advantages such as reduced emissions and compliance with ever-more stringent environmental regulations.

As the shipping industry faces pressure to adopt cleaner fuel alternatives to traditional bunker fuels, methanol emerges as a promising option owing to its lower sulphur content and compatibility with existing infrastructure.

Moreover, methanol-powered vessels have gained traction as a cost-effective solution for meeting emission standards set by organisations like the International Maritime Organisation (IMO).

With the implementation of regulations such as the IMO 2020 sulphur cap, which mandates a significant reduction in sulphur emissions from ships, the demand for methanol as a marine fuel is expected to escalate further.

Methanol in Construction

Persistence reports that in addition to its prominence in the marine sector, methanol plays a crucial role in the construction industry.

Methanol is used in the production of formaldehyde, a key building block in the manufacture of various construction materials, including adhesives, laminates and plywood.

Formaldehyde-based resins find extensive applications in the bonding and strengthening of wood products, thereby contributing to the construction of infrastructure and buildings.

The construction industry’s reliance on formaldehyde-based materials underscores the integral role of methanol in facilitating construction activities worldwide.

As urbanisation continues to drive infrastructure development and construction projects, the demand for methanol-derived products is poised to witness sustained growth in the foreseeable future.