Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 


UC to research for world’s largest supplier of methanol

UC to research for Methanex, the world’s largest supplier of methanol

December 10, 2012

A University of Canterbury researcher has received a $750,000 study grant from Methanex New Zealand Ltd, the country’s only methanol manufacturer and a subsidiary of Canada-based Methanex Corporation – the world’s largest methanol supplier.

The grant is to fund research to improve the performance of stainless steel piping.

UC mechanical engineering professor Milo Kral said the certainty of substantial funding over the next five years will allow forward planning of a comprehensive research programme in the area of high temperature materials and state of the art equipment to produce world class research.

``The ongoing support of Methanex has been one of the most rewarding partnerships for us at UC. For more than 10 years Methanex has provided funding for research projects focused on improving the performance of stainless steel piping used in steam methane reforming, a key process in the conversion of natural gas to methanol.

``The performance of materials is measured in terms of microns at temperatures as high as 1200C, which is obviously a difficult task that requires specialised equipment developed specifically for this purpose.

``The effects of exposure to such harsh environments are also analysed using electron microscopes. Overall, the process of conducting the research produces a result for Methanex, trains our students to work in the industry and raises UC’s profile.’’

Most of the UC research has been related to the topic of high temperature metallurgy – which is a specific field of study that is linked to the equipment used in the methanol reforming process.

This has provided a better understanding of the materials important to production and has allowed significant improvements to be made in the performance and life of critical components within the reforming process.


The opportunity has been taken to formalise the relationship with UC by establishing the Methanex Chair in Metallurgy with Professor Kral as the first incumbent.

The agreement will provide certainty of funding for future student research projects as well as allowing Professor Kral Milo to contribute more time directly to Methanex projects.

Methanex’s managing director, Harvey Weake, said the relationship with UC had been mutually beneficial.

``It has allowed us to provide a sound educational platform for young engineers while at the same time learn and benefit from their engineering solutions. We look forward to continuing and strengthening our partnership over the coming years.’’

The agreement between Methanex and UC will consolidate all the work done to date and will provide a better forward planning protocol. Methanex New Zealand and its precursor companies have benefitted over the years from dozens of engineers who have learnt their profession at UC.

Methanex New Zealand owns two methanol facilities in Taranaki – the Motunui and Waitara Valley sites. Currently, the company is producing 1.5 million tonnes of methanol per year and contributes $305 million to the Taranaki GDP and $455 million to the New Zealand GDP annually. More than 90 percent of the methanol produced in New Zealand is sold for export to markets in Japan, Korea and China.
ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Scoop Business: Fonterra Slashes 2015 Milk Payout, Earnings Tumble 76%

Fonterra Cooperative Group cut its forecast 2015 milk price payout by about 12 percent, citing weaker global dairy prices and said there is a risk of further declines given strong global milk production. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: RBNZ Keeps OCR At 3.5%, Signals Slower Pace Of Future Hikes

Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler kept the official cash rate at 3.5 percent and signalled he won’t be as aggressive with future rate hikes as previously thought as inflation remains tamer than expected. The kiwi dollar fell to a seven-month low. More>>

ALSO:

Weather: Dry Spells Take Hold In South Island

Many areas in the South Island are tracking towards record dry spells as relatively warm, dry weather that began in mid-August continues... for some South Island places, the current period of fine weather is quite rare. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Productivity Commission To Look At Housing Land Supply

The Productivity Commission is to expand on its housing affordability report with an investigation into improving land supply and development capacity, particularly in areas with strong population growth. More>>

ALSO:

Forestry: Man Charged After 2013 Death

Levin Police have arrested and charged a man with manslaughter in relation to the death of Lincoln Kidd who was killed during a tree felling operation on 19 December 2013. More>>

ALSO:

Smells Like Justice: Dairy Company Fined Over Odour

Dairy company fined over odour Dairy supply company Open Country Dairy Limited has been convicted and fined more than $35,000 for discharging objectionable odour from its Waharoa factory at the time of last year’s ”spring flush” when milk supply was high. More>>

Scoop Business: Dairy Product Prices Decline To Lowest Since July 2012

Dairy product prices dropped to the lowest level since July 2012 in the latest GlobalDairyTrade auction, led by a slump in rennet casein and butter milk powder. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Computer Power Plus

Standards New Zealand

Standards New Zealand

Mosh Social Media
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news