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Task 56


Methanol as Motor Fuel

Purpose, Objectives and Key Question

The purpose of this task was to explore the potential of methanol to act as a motor fuel and to meet global challenges on economy, energy security and climate change. Possibilities to produce methanol economically today creates markets for tomorrow’s renewable methanol produced using renewable sources. Different transport sectors were covered including light-duty and heavy-duty road vehicles, as well as ships. In the marine sector, there are also ambitious current and anticipated regulations on GHGs and other emissions. This task identified barriers for commercialization of methanol with suggestions to overcome these barriers.


Activities in this task were divided in four work packages (WPs). In addition, reporting was handled as a separate task by three organizations. The following WPs were foreseen:

WP 1: General Issues on Methanol as Motor Fuel, FNR-supported by DBFZ, Germany

The review on the general aspects included

  • Needs for methanol use in participating countries
  • Production of methanol from fossil and renewable sources
  • General aspects of methanol/biomethanol as motor fuel, including fuel properties
  • Synthesis of the sector-dependent reports
  • Analysis on what stopped methanol from entering the fuel market earlier
  • GHG aspects of methanol/biomethanol
  • Cost evaluations

Participants of this task sent reports and information of the methanol views and activities in their countries to the WP leader.

WP 2: Sector-dependent Evaluations
  • Task 2.1, Light-duty sector, DTI, Denmark. The fuels to be considered include M15, M56, M85, M100, MTBE, and GEM fuels.
  • Task 2.2, Heavy-duty sector, FNR-supported by DBFZ, Germany. The fuels to be considered include MD95 and M100.
  • Task 2.3, Ships, VTT, Finland. The fuels to be considered include diesel/methanol dual fuel and other ship engine developments.

WP2 handled sector-dependent issues on methanol. Amongst others, the following technical issues were discussed:

  • Infrastructure
  • Material compatibility
  • Exhaust emission 
  • Methanol use and research in the participating countries, including ongoing demonstrations
  • Potential for future development
  • Costs of operation
  • Comparisons with selected fuels as appropriate

For example, the review on heavy-duty sector include aspects according to infrastructure, material compatibility, and exhaust emissions. Cost of operation and methanol R&D projects in the participating countries were handled limitedly. The assessment was made in comparison to conventional fuels, mainly diesel.

WP 3: Future High-Efficiency Engine for Methanol, Lund University, Sweden

Fundamental combustion research to achieve high-efficiency methanol engines. Next generation engines for alcohols.

WP 4: Barriers to Commercialization, DTI, Denmark

Special contribution in this work was prepared by Nordic Green, Denmark.


The final summary report and key message were compiled by VTT, Finland and DBFZ, Germany. The report consist of a short summary of all WPs, and the individual task share contributions, which are added as appendices.


Project Duration

November 2018 - June 2020


   Task Sharing

   Cost Sharing


Denmark, Finland, Germany, Israel, Sweden

Israel, Sweden

Total Budget

~€ 101,000 ($ 114,500 US)

Task Managers

Gideon Goldwine (
Technion, Israel

Päivi Aakko-Saksa, VTT, Finland (co-sharing) (12/2019 - 04/2020)

Wibke Baumgarten, FNR, Germany (co-sharing) (04-06/2020)