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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)

Copyright 2013 Northwest News Network

Correspondent Tom Banse is an Olympia-based reporter with more than three decades of experience covering Washington and Oregon state government, public policy, business and breaking news stories. Most of his career was spent with public radio's Northwest News Network, but now in semi-retirement his work is appearing on other outlets.
Tom Banse
Tom Banse covers national news, business, science, public policy, Olympic sports and human interest stories from across the Northwest. He reports from well known and out–of–the–way places in the region where important, amusing, touching, or outrageous events are unfolding. Tom's stories can be found online and heard on-air during "Morning Edition" and "All Things Considered" on NPR stations in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho.