Why Biomethanol?

Advent’s Serene fuel cells use hydrogen.
Methanol is the ideal hydrogen carrier, especially for off-grid power, today and tomorrow.

Why: A typical fuel cell converts pure hydrogen and clean air to electricity.

The upside is that you get clean, quiet, energy but this is also the reason you don’t see a fuel cell in every corner of the world today. Pure hydrogen (and even pure air)can be hard to find, especially in the regions of the world where you need them most for backup power.

Methanol on the other hand can be as green as hydrogen (emethanol is green hydrogen) but is liquid and thus an excellent hydrogen carrier. Transporting and storing liquid methanol on-site is extremely cheaper and requires a fraction of the space of transporting and storing the same energy equivalent of hydrogen.

The costs of compressing and transporting hydrogen globally for off-grid and backup power generation applications are challenging.

Advent’s Serene fuel cell: It makes sense today

If the total cost of ownership (TCO) is your main priority or KPI, then methanol is your answer. If green is your priority, then biomethanol is your practical answer today. Unlike the competition, Serene fuel cells are uniquely designed to work reliably with methanol today.

Serene is ready for net-zero tomorrow

Liquid makes sense and methanol — whether blue, bio, or green — is liquid and completely interchangeable in Advent’s Serene fuel cell systems. Invest today, be ready for tomorrow. No modifications needed. Emethanol produced by green hydrogen is an ideal solution because it is liquid and dissolves in water (no environmental disaster risk).

The logistics of transportation are almost the same as for any other liquid fuel. The world already has the infrastructure to deliver green hydrogen as eMethanol globally, because it is a liquid fuel. You can convert a gas station to pump net-zero emethanol tomorrow or biomethanol today at a minimal cost.

The world is far away from deploying green hydrogen, ammonia, or any other liquid organic hydrogen carrier (LOHC) fuels in every corner in need of backup power. Even when the world is ready for this, we believe that emethanol is going to be the lowest cost, net-zero equivalent option.

Advent Technologies’ methanol-water premix fuel provides many advantages to users. The mix is less flammable (fire class II) than pure methanol and, therefore, cheaper to transport. There is no need for a water condenser, which again means a lower weight and higher efficiency.

The mix can be distributed in the same way as gasoline and diesel. It can be shipped via land, sea, and air, and is available in 20-1000lt containers.

We also offer green biomethanol. For more information, please contact our sales via the contact form here

An ideal approach using the fuels of tomorrow, today.

Methanol vision explained

Methanol storage based on green energy sources allows for an almost 100% CO2 reducing power technology

Today, the world utilizes many different energy carriers (gas, liquid, or solid), depending on the availability and application requirements. Reducing CO2 emissions requires a substantial amount of renewable energy from solar and wind. Storage is the problem as renewables fluctuate on an hour by hour, day by day, and season by season basis. Energy cannot be stored in the electrical energy grid, nor can we expect to transport it only via power lines. To become carbon neutral, we must be able to store and distribute huge amounts of energy from sector to sector. This is often referred to as Power-To-X.

Looking into sustainable energy carriers, some are more applicable. Methanol is one of the most promising carriers, as it can be made from green hydrogen (solar wind) or biomass with low losses. It is easy and safe to handle and store; and logistics are similar to what we know today from diesel and gasoline.

The vision of methanol is illustrated here. From the left, the green energy sources for methanol production are shown. In the production of methanol, hydrogen and carbon are required — either as separated molecules or as longer hydrocarbon chains. The sources can be hydrogen from water electrolysis, combined with CO2 from either industrial carbon capture, or direct air carbon capture, or biomass.

Methanol can be easily stored and distributed with similar methods as we know from fossil fuels such as gasoline or diesel. With Advent’s Serene line of products, applications can be powered directly from methanol, thus enabling low carbon emissions. Applications range from small gensets to large-scale industrial installations.

When we consider total emissions, you can expect a methanol-based solution to reduce CO2 by 40% today.

If  biomethanol is used instead, (available today) emissions drop by 80%, an outcome which is probably better than any battery on the planet connecting to the grid to charge can claim.

As the future evolves to mass green hydrogen production, emethanol will become one of the most promising green hydrogen carriers (especially for marine and off-grid applications) and will result in 100% CO2 reduction. 

Pros and Cons of Methanol*


  • Commonly produced on an industrial scale with high yields and efficiency from various carbon-containing feedstock. Natural gas and coal today; biomass, solid waste, and CO2 + H2 tomorrow.
  • No inherent technical challenges in scaling up the production of methanol to meet the needs of the transport or chemical industry sectors.


  • Production from coal has a large carbon footprint.
  • Production of renewable methanol remains more expensive than fossil methanol.
  • Production of renewable methanol needs to be scaled up.
  • Competition for renewable feedstock (biomass, CO2, renewable power) with other renewable alternatives.


  • Methanol is a liquid. This makes it easy to store, transport and distribute by ship, pipeline, truck, and rail.
  • Requirements for methanol storage and transport are similar to other flammable liquids such as gasoline, jet fuel, and ethanol.
  • Methanol used as an automotive fuel can be dispensed in regular filling stations, requiring only minimal and relatively inexpensive modifications.
  • When properly stored methanol is stable, and its shelf life is indefinite.


  • Can be corrosive to some metals such as aluminum, copper, zinc, titanium, and some of their alloys. Methanol may also attack some plastics, resins and rubbers. Compatible metals, plastics, and elastomer materials must be selected.
  • Methanol can absorb moisture from the atmosphere. To prevent this, methanol should be stored in a sealed container with an allowance for thermal expansion (larger tank, floating roof tank, pressure relief valve). Moisture absorbed by neat methanol is fully miscible and is retained as a single phase that does not affect combustion. Moisture absorbed by gasoline-methanol blends, however, can form immiscible phases. If the amount of water is small, it has little effect on combustion, but larger amounts of water phase material may interfere with combustion.


  • Growing market for methanol use as a fuel. Currently about 31% of methanol demand.
  • Bunkering of methanol already widely available in many ports around the world.
  • Can be used in a direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC) to produce electricity.
  • Good liquid hydrogen carrier (one liter of methanol contains more hydrogen than a liter of liquid hydrogen). Methanol is easily reformed to hydrogen for use in fuel cells (reformed methanol fuel cells).
  • Good liquid hydrogen carrier (one liter of methanol contains more hydrogen than a liter of liquid hydrogen). Methanol is easily reformed to hydrogen for use in fuel cells (reformed methanol fuel cells).


  • Competition with established fuels (gasoline, diesel) as well as alternatives including electrification, hydrogen, biofuels, CNG, LPG, etc.
  • Relatively low volumetric energy content compared to some fuels. About half the volumetric energy density of gasoline and diesel fuel.
  • Competing technologies (e.g. selective catalytic reduction, scrubber, filter, exhaust recirculation systems).
  • Competing fuels (e.g., low-sulphur fuel oil, low-sulphur distillate fuels, LNG, hydrogen, ammonia).


  • High octane rating (RON of 109) and high knocking resistance. Allows the engine to run at high compression ratios for higher efficiency.
  • High oxygen content (avoids fuel-rich combustion zones).
  • High heat of evaporation.
  • Low lean flammability limit.
  • High volatility.
  • Compatible with hybrid (fuel/electric) systems and vehicles.


  • Methanol has low vapour pressure at low temperatures. Cold start system or higher vapour pressure additives might be needed.
  • Poor lubrication properties.


  • Methanol can be used in combustion ignition (diesel) engines.
  • Dimethyl ether derived from methanol is a substitute for diesel fuel (high cetane number). Methanol is also a main component of biodiesel (biodiesel is obtained by transesterification of plant oil and animal fats with an alcohol). Oxymethylene ethers (OME) derived from methanol are also being tested as diesel substitutes.


  • Neat methanol is a poor diesel substitute (very low cetane number). To be used in diesel-type engines it needs glow plugs, additives or co-injection of small quantities of diesel (~5%) to ignite when compressed.
  • Methanol fuel standards need to be expanded to allow for wider use in more countries and for more applications.


Lower pollutant emissions when combusted:

  • No carbon-carbon bonds allow for soot-free combustion (no PM).
  • No SOx.
  • Lower NOx.
  • Low-carbon and renewable methanol can provide reduced overall CO2 emissions compared to fossil fuels.


  • Incomplete combustion can lead to formaldehyde and formic acid pollutants.


  • Methanol is water soluble and readily biodegradable. Methanol dissolves completely in water. When released into water, it will rapidly disperse to low concentrations, allowing micro-organisms occurring naturally to degrade it in a relatively short time.
  • Methanol is used in water treatment plants for denitrification. Methanol is an energy source for the organisms breaking down the nitrogen-containing compounds present in wastewater.
  • Methanol is a naturally occurring substance which does not bio-accumulate.
  • Non-environmentally hazardous according to the dangerous goods regulations.


  • Spillage to the environment. When released into soil, methanol could enter groundwater. However, because methanol is readily biodegradable its accumulation in soil or groundwater is unlikely.


  • Safer fuel in fires than gasoline. Methanol generates less heat and transfers less of the heat to the surroundings. Methanol fires can be extinguished with water or alcohol- resistant foams.
  • Methanol in small concentrations is present naturally in the human body and food and drinks such as fruits, vegetables, beer, wine, etc.


  • Highly flammable. Burns with a low-temperature non-luminous clear blue flame that might be difficult to see in bright light. Combustion is also smokeless.
  • Can form explosive mixture in air.
  • Toxic. Toxic exposure can occur by inhalation, skin and eye contact and ingestion. Ingestion of more than 20 mL can be lethal; lesser amounts are known to cause irreversible blindness.

* “Innovation Outlook, Renewable, Methanol, IRENA and Methanol Institute, 2021”, p. 109-115

Fit for the green transition?

Download our guide: “Fit for the green transition?” for an in-depth viewpoint on transitioning to green power.

The guide is intended to help you initiate the transition to Advent’s Serene fuel cells.

Fit for the Green Transit