Our Pilot-Plant

Source: BASF Corporate History, Ludwigshafen a.Rh.

The next chapter of commercial methanol production: Green & Cost-efficient

In 1923, BASF employees celebrated the first commercial methanol production based on coal in Leuna, Germany.

Now, in the same location 100 years later, we write the next chapter of the methanol story.

3D Rendering of C1 reactor

In Leuna we are joining forces with renowned research partners to build the world's first industrial-grade pilot-plant for cost-efficient green methanol production – based on our disruptive technology.

With the Leuna100 pilot-plant, we are proving and improving the groundbreaking C1 catalysis and our C1 reactor to validate it's potential to significantly lower the green premium through ultra-efficient homogenic catalysis.

Green methanol is a strategic cornerstone of a fossil-free economy. That is why the German Federal Ministry of Transportation has funded "Leuna100" with 10,4 Mio €.

Visit Leuna100 website




At the Leuna100 pilot-plant we realize the overall process of electricity-based synthesis gas generation and a radically re-developed methanol synthesis process under real conditions for the first time worldwide.
For the market rollout of competitive e-methanol each production step – and in particular their coupling into a process chain – needs to be optimized and upscaled to validate cost-efficiency through homogenic catalysis.


C1 Green Chemicals AG
Groundbreaking catalyst and containerized reactor
Fraunhofer UMSICHT
New low-temperature co-electrolysis
Institut gGmbH Freiberg

Industrial reverse water gas shift unit
Fraunhofer IWES
Location and infrastructure at Hydrogen Lab Leuna Evaluation of load flexibility of the overall process
TU Berlin
Operating concept based on a dynamic overall process model Evaluation & and optimization of load-flexibility


“The 'Leuna100' project addresses a central challenge: There is currently a lot of momentum in the field of renewable fuels, with many individual innovations. What's missing is connecting them to enable a large-scale market ramp-up.

Many steps in renewable fuel production can be electrified. In practical terms, however, defossilization of production requires not only the enabling of individual sub-steps, but also coupling and load-serving operation as a whole. Leuna100 creates an opportunity to implement this.”

Michael Seirig
Department Head of Hydrogen Laboratories and Field Tests
Fraunhofer IWES
“The climate crisis requires an unprecedented reduction in CO2 emissions. Germany and the EU have established fixed targets for the transport sector and quotas for renewable fuels. However, sectors that are difficult to electrify, such as shipping and aviation, lack a technically established method to meet this in an economic and scalable way. Regenerative fuels based on green hydrogen and CO2 offer an alternative, but are not yet ready for market ramp-up. This is where 'Leuna100' comes in, by innovating the complete process chain from CO2 to methanol and establishing the most favorable process for the production of green methanol.”

Dr. Kai Junge Puring
Project Manager
Fraunhofer UMSICHT
“In 1923, the world's first commercial methanol plant was built in Leuna. Today, we continue this success story by completely reinventing the methanol production process at the same location exactly 100 years later.

 We pave the way for the efficient use of renewable raw materials to produce green methanol on an industrial scale and provide an important contribution to the development of the Leuna Chemical Park as a future location for green chemistry.”

Dr. Christoph Zehe
Chief Commercial Officer