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Seattle Firm Seeks To Commercialize Carbon Dioxide Conversion To Methanol


A small engineering firm in Seattle says it has developed a system to capture carbon dioxide going up power plant smokestacks and convert it to methanol. The solvent is also known as wood alcohol and as an Indy race car fuel.

Brett Scott is chief counsel for Emission Resource Group. He says having a viable method to refine CO2 into methanol could make it worthwhile for fossil fuel burners to capture the greenhouse gas.

"With our technology, we are taking a waste product that has been identified as something that we as a country and a globe need to control, and we are not only eliminating it, we are creating a byproduct from it that is actually valuable."

Company leaders say they have built and successfully operated a demonstration system in Seattle. Now the start-up company is looking for new investors or grants to help it commercialize the technology.

On the Web:

Emission Resource Group
PowerPoint presentation: CO2 Recovery to Methanol (Washington Legislature)

Now semi-retired, Tom Banse covered national news, business, science, public policy, Olympic sports and human interest stories from across the Northwest. He reported from well known and out–of–the–way places in the region where important, amusing, touching, or outrageous events unfolded. Tom's stories can be found online and were heard on-air during "Morning Edition" and "All Things Considered" on NPR stations in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho.