World Methanol Market Acquires New Characteristics

The current global methanol market is characterized by the increase in the consolidation of its production and consumption segments, UK-based market research firm Merchant Research & Consulting Ltd. says.

The methanol consumption on the fuel market exhibits stagnant growth, which exerts an enormous downward pressure on prices paralleled by capacity expansion. Production of acetic acid remains a major methanol consumption sector.

This year may witness augmentation of methanol use as a fuel, since further development of direct-methanol fuel cells is expected (like in new Toshiba?s methanol-driven devices demonstrated at CeBIT 2007). The worldwide market for replacement cartridges used to replenish fuel in fuel cells is likely to grow to $1b a year by 2010, according to Avicenne Developement. However, the potential use of micro fuel cells to power mobile devices will be limited for several years because of regulatory restrictions on transporting them on aircraft, according to Takeishi Ruta Takeishi, a manager in Toshiba's European electronics division.

Methanol production growth may be also spurred by the introduction of new technologies implying the use of methanol to obtain gasoline and polymers.

In general, global demand for methanol is forecast to grow by an average of 2% a year in the coming few years. Then the growth may slow down.

Developed countries are major methanol consumers.

In Russia, methanol is consumed mainly in the production of Formalin and synthetic rubbers, which account for 60-70% of total methanol use.

Methanol is a colourless, toxic, flammable liquid, used as an antifreeze, a general solvent, a fuel, and a denaturant for ethyl alcohol. It is also called carbinol, methyl alcohol, wood alcohol, wood spirits.

The bulk of methanol is processed into formaldehyde in order to produce plastic masses, urotropine, and carbamide resins. Methanol can be used to make methyl tertiary-butyl ether (MTBE), an oxygenate which is blended with gasoline to enhance octane and create cleaner burning fuel. In the future, methanol could possibly be the fuel of choice for providing the hydrogen necessary to power fuel cell vehicles.

The Methanol Market Research also features the following information:

Methanol market behaviour (incl. CIS countries);
Methanol market development prospects;
Major methanol producers and suppliers;
Main methanol consumers;
To name only a few subjects.

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