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Why I Think Methanol Would Be The Best Fuel For The Future

1348 words - 6 pages

Why I think Methanol would be the best fuel for the futureI have been asked to find out which fuel would be best to replace petrol in a motor vehicle.The fuel that i think would be best to replace petrol in a motor vehicle is Methanol, there are many reasons for this and i have a listed them below.Methanol is a liquid fuel made from natural gas or reneawable biomass resources it is predoninantly produced by steam reforming of natural gas to dcreate a sythesis gas, which is then dfed into a reactor vessel in the presence of a catalyst to produce methanol and water vapour.There is clearly a race on for the fuel for the future, i think Methanol is the leading cadidate and think that it should ...view middle of the document...

One such vehicle is the DaimlerChrysler's NECAR 4 vehicle, an methanol fuel cell powered A-class Mercedes Benz.But direct methanol fuel cell engines will eliminate the need for reformers altogetherbut these could be become avaliable in the 2008-2010 timeframe. Its difficult to kmow at any certainty where there at in thge development of direct methanol fuel cells because the competion to be the first to marketis very intense. The positive thing is that the challenge with direct methanol is coming up with the right membrane material in the stack that will seperate the Hydrogen ions from the methanol. Up to this point experimenters have been using the same type of material used in pure hydrogen stacks, which is not very efficuent. Two new materials recently demonstrated in the laboratory show promise of solving this problem and improving effiency by a factor of ten. There is a huge amont of research going into that area as the opportunity is so great to totally simplify the system as to reduce the start up time and vertually eliminate all emissions from the stack.The safty and environment issuesMany people belive that the fuel methanol is not safe but this is incorect. Methanol has been safly used for the last 35 years as the fuel that powers the race cars of indianapolis 500. citing us Environment Protection Agency studies. The deaths from automotive crash -induced fires would be 10% of what they currently are from gaspline.There has never been a fire during the indy 500 since the introduction of methanol.Substituting methanol for gasoline would cut greenhouse gas emmisions by 50%. It would also make possible a smooth transition to renewable fuels like ethanol which is derived from plant feed stocks.Methanol is currently created by converting natural gas into a liquid fuel.However it may be possible to create methanol from sea weed on off-shore processing plants.Such palnts would not only provide us with a renewable fuel but it would also promote the growth of fish populations.The process would also sequester huge amounts of carbon dioxide in a closed loop system. On the topic of oil well flare gas, there are two types of sea borne methanol plants, one now in operation and the second is under construction, which were specifically designed to dry up flare gas wells, converting what was being wasted into a useable fuel. If only 10% of the gas currently being flared wree converted to methanol an estimated 2 million cars could be driven and there is also anouth excess methanol production capacity in the world to dive...

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