Revolutionary e-methanol technology wins prestigious MEXI regional award

Mannheim, November 23, 2023 - The Mannheim Startup Award (MEXI) honors the most innovative startups.

Every year, Mannheim celebrates the courage, creativity, and perseverance of its entrepreneurs with the Mannheim Startup Award (MEXI). Recognized as Germany’s most lucrative regional award for startups, MEXI honors promising and innovative new businesses established in the last three years. The 13th Mannheim Economic Forum, attended by approximately 200 guests from business and politics, was highlighted by the MEXI 2024 award ceremony, where prizes of 10,000 Euros were awarded in the categories Technology, Service, and Social Economy.

ICODOS, specializing in the development and implementation of technologies for the production of e-methanol, managed to secure the first place in the Technology category, earning recognition for its innovative approach to e-methanol production.

ICODOS: An advancing success story

Methanol is a widely-used chemical for various applications, including fuel for shipping and as a raw material for a vast range of products. Traditionally derived from fossil fuels, e-methanol production has been too costly and limited.

The Mannheim-based startup ICODOS seeks to change this with a groundbreaking technology. “Our process, developed at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), produces biomethane and e-methanol using biogas from waste streams like sewage sludge and organic waste, combined with renewable electricity,” reports CEO David Strittmatter. “In our process, carbon dioxide from biogas is separated and converted with additional green hydrogen from water electrolysis into methanol using a combined method. This patented combination of CO2 capture and methanol synthesis is unique and significantly reduces capital and operational costs. This is a pivotal moment for more sustainable shipping and chemical production.”

A pilot plant at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology has already been constructed, with plans underway for a larger demonstration plant in France, supported by a 10 million Euro grant from the Horizon Europe Program. The company is also progressing towards commercial industrial production, with initial agreements already in place with industry partners.

Promising outlooks for Mannheim as start-up hub

CEO David Strittmatter expressed confidence in ICODOS’s future, and predicts a significant impact on the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions by 2030. He emphasized Mannheim’s suitability as a company base due to its climate goals and status as a chemical and pharmaceutical hub, praising the city for its supportive environment for startups.

“Mannheim, with its ambitious climate protection goals and as a hub for major chemical and pharmaceutical companies, is simply the perfect location for developing ICODOS as the leading technology provider for e-methanol production,” so the CEO, regarding the decision to select the MAFINEX Technology Center in Mannheim as ICODOS’s headquarters.

The ecosystem is set to propel Mannheim into a central role in the green technology sector, fostering further innovations and attracting like-minded startups and investors.

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