M2X’s modular methanol reactor
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The fossil fuel industry’s methane problem is set for a revolutionary solution thanks to Florida-based startup, M2X Energy. The company has developed semi-trailer-sized machines capable of converting the planet-warming gas, often vented into the atmosphere, into methanol, a valuable industrial material and fuel. The mobile methanol plants, backed by investors such as Breakthrough Energy Ventures, are poised to significantly reduce methane emissions at remote locations, like North Dakota’s Bakken shale play, where pipeline scarcity often results in the gas being wasted. M2X Energy’s technology marks a radical shift in mitigating routine flaring, an environmentally detrimental practice dating back to the 1850s.

  • M2X Energy has developed mobile plants that convert methane into methanol, reducing emissions and creating valuable fuel.
  • The startup produced its first methanol in a partnership, demonstrating commercial viability.
  • By transforming wasted gas, M2X can help address greenhouse emissions and energy insecurity from routine flaring.

Transforming waste into wealth

In the face of the methane menace, M2X Energy has achieved a breakthrough. The company’s transportable, modular gas-to-methanol plant has reached a significant milestone, producing its first methanol. This innovative methane mitigation solution not only promises to eliminate methane emissions but also converts waste flare methane into a clean and valuable industrial product.

M2X Energy, founded in 2020, is dedicated to addressing natural gas flaring and venting by creating valuable products from wasted natural gas. The company is currently conducting test runs to qualify the system for its first field deployment.

Methane, methanol and the climate crisis

Methane, a potent greenhouse gas, contributes to at least 25% of global warming. Human activities, particularly in the fossil fuel industry, are responsible for a significant proportion of these emissions. In 2018, over 145 billion cubic meters of natural gas was flared worldwide. The largest practitioners of routine flaring since 2014 include Russia, Iraq, Iran, the United States, Algeria, Venezuela, and Nigeria.

Methanol, on the other hand, is a useful industrial material and fuel. The first methanol production by M2X Energy was achieved in partnership with ECR Engines and operated at the Richard Childress Racing campus in Welcome, North Carolina.

Commercial viability and carbon-negative potential

The production of the first methanol demonstrates the commercial viability of M2X Energy’s technology and its potential to decarbonize operations for oil and gas operators. The carbon-intensity of its carbon-negative methanol is certified by SCS Global Services. M2X Energy aims to compete with traditional methanol, using it as a low-carbon fuel, in the creation of synthetic fibers and chemicals, and as a hydrogen carrier.

Following the completion of the first field demonstration, the company plans to deploy additional units. To meet growing customer demand, M2X Energy is expanding its manufacturing capabilities, engineering, and commercial teams.

Transforming methane emissions and energy security

The International Energy Agency (IEA) estimates that natural gas flaring resulted in over 140 billion m3 of natural gas going to waste in 2021. This waste not only contributes to greenhouse gas emissions but also creates energy insecurity, as those volumes could be employed to satisfy the existing demand for natural gas. By capturing 100% of methane emissions and transforming the gas into low-carbon methanol, M2X Energy can help solve both problems.

The company’s technology leverages 120 years of engineering and a tried-and-true piece of equipment – the internal combustion engine. M2X is building gas-to-methanol plants that are modular, scalable, and can operate autonomously in the field, adapting to variations in flare gas site conditions.


M2X Energy’s innovative solution offers a practical and commercially viable response to the methane menace. By converting wasted natural gas into low-carbon chemicals and reducing methane emissions, the company is paving the way for more sustainable operations within the fossil fuel industry. As the deployment of these mobile methanol marvels continues, we can anticipate a significant reduction in routine flaring and venting practices, paving the way for a greener future.