DBI Gas- und Umwelttechnik


Plant based Carbon Capture and Storage in Green Methanol

The transformation of the mobility sector from fossil to renewable  fuels is essential for climate change management. Due to their high energy density, green  liquid fuels are beneficial for storage and transport in vehicles and particularly ships. Green Methanol will play an important role and a small-scale  production structure according to decentralized harvesting of green hydrogen and biogenic feedstocks is  the key enabler.

In the project we demonstrate a decentralized small-scale production chain for green methanol by plant based carbon capture, green hydrogen production, gas generation by fermentation and the liquefaction in an integrated novel process.

The innovative approach comprises FLOX based syngas generation, integrated with green hydrogen production and small-scale methanol synthesis.

Feed stocks can be almost any kind of organic wastes but also energy crops, preferably grown in sunny and arid regions.  Prickley pear cactus is a promising option because of its ability to capture high amounts of CO2 from the air while keeping the water in the plant.

  • Almost 100% carbon captured by the plants is stored in green liquid fuel
  • Efficient conversion of hydrogen from renewables into liquid fuel
  • Use of almost any kind of organic waste in Biogas Fermenter
  • Higher output of green methanol as in any other process
  • Perfect solution for arid areas with new plant concept


One of the great challenges of our time is the reduction of anthropogenic greenhouse gases combined with the goal of creating climate-neutral processes in the areas of industry, mobility, the heating market and agriculture. Conventional processes are usually optimized under the aspects of energy efficiency and economy on the basis of fossil fuels. A change to renewable energies requires partially massive changes to the processes from a technological and energetic point of view. In connection with this, conventional business models have to be rethought. The generation of green methanol from biomass can offer a completely new value chain here. Conventional methanol production is considered to be technologically established, but it causes high CO₂ greenhouse gas emissions with an annual production of over 100 million tons.

Alternatively, methanol can be produced from biogas and electrolysis hydrogen. Biogas is first converted into a synthesis gas using a reforming process, which in turn is converted into methanol in a synthesis reactor with the addition of hydrogen. Depending on the size of the biogas plant, the whole thing can be designed as a decentralized container plant. This is exactly where Symboko comes in. Symboko combines the individual processes in a container system for the decentralized production of methanol, which can be used as

  • H₂-Storage
  • Basic chemical for industry (formaldehyde, formic acid)
  • Reactant in the biodiesel production
  • Fuel (internal combustion engine, fuel cell)

The associated value chain integrates farmers and farm owners, biogas producers, renewable electricity producers from PV and wind, producers of green hydrogen and others.

Running Project

In the ongoing SYMBOKO project (synthesis of methanol from biogas with full use of carbon), an innovative process to produce methanol from biogas is being developed using hydrogen and oxygen from regenerative sources. The innovative content bases on a new type of process to produce synthesis gas that, with a corresponding process interconnection, enables a carbon utilization rate of the overall process of > 95% as well as the flexible integration of volatile produced hydrogen and oxygen.

The process development is designed to initiate a CO₂-neutral value chain, the core concept of which makes it possible to generate the basic chemical material methanol from biogenic residues, a future alternative use path for operators of biogas plants. The advantage over the conventional production of biomethane is the use of both carbon-bearing greenhouse gas-relevant components CO₂ and CH₄ without CO₂ separation. Due to the high degree of carbon utilization and the exclusive use of renewable energies, an extensive reduction in emissions can also be achieved. For this purpose, a container-scale demonstration plant is being built and tested in the project, which maps the innovative process for generating synthesis gas as the basis for methanol synthesis.

A powerful consortium is available for implementation, each contributing its competencies:

DBI - Gastechnologisches Institut gGmbH Freiberg
entire process design, Parameterization of thermal design (reactors, heat exchangers), system testing
WS Reformer GmbH
Design of innovative synthesis gas reactor incorporating the FLOX concept.
Leibniz-Institut für Katalyse e. V.
Manufacture, characterization and testing of high temperature stable reforming catalysts for an innovative reformer concept.
AMS Technology GmbH
Production of the process modules, planning of the container interior architecture and integration


Financial Support


SYMBOKO II is to be initialized by public funding in the frame of

International Hydrogen projects

an initiative of the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWi)


Contact Project Development USA

Claus Schmidt, Phone: +1 (702) 530 7396

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Dr.-Ing. Stephan Anger
Fachgebietsleiter Gasverfahrenstechnik

  (+49) 3731 - 41 95 346
  (+49) 3731 - 41 95 309

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