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BASF is patenting a process that it says will produce methanol without greenhouse gas emissions. The process begins with making synthesis gas, a mixture of carbon monoxide and hydrogen, via partial oxidation of methane. Flue gases from the methanol synthesis and distillation steps are then treated in a BASF process, dubbed OASE, to recover the carbon dioxide, which BASF says will be returned to the beginning of the process and treated with hydrogen. The company doesn’t expect the process to reach commercial scale for another 10 years.
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