Why Methanol?

Methanol molecule Methanol (Methyl Alcohol) is the simplest of a long series of organic compounds called alcohols. Its molecular formula is CH3OH.

The common method of producing Methanol is based on the direct combination of carbon monoxide gas and hydrogen in the presence of a catalyst. Most Methanol is produced from Methane, which is the main component in natural gas.

Alternatively Methanol can be produced from Biomass, and is in that context a Biofuel representing a near CO2 neutral emission solution.

HyDragon Motor Company Ltd. has evaluated several potential fuel options against defined criteria in our project specifications. Even if several fuel options are possible, only Methanol holds the promise of fulfilling all requirements envisaged. Low emission figures means that Methanol can represent a viable alternative fuel in the future.

Methanol has several favourable properties making it an ideal fuel:
  • Analyzing the overall energy efficiency in a "Well to Wheel" context, Methanol is among the most efficient Biofuels, much more efficient than e.g. Ethanol
  • Methanol is liquid at ambient temperatures, which makes it preferable to e.g. Hydrogen regarding transportation and refuelling.
  • Methanol is easy bio degradable and water miscible. It will be dissolved, and not lead to environmental damage such as accidental oil spills
  • The infrastructure for volume Methanol handling is already well developed. More than 30 million tons is produced, distributed and consumed every year, as a basic chemical building block for a myriad of products like particle boards, plywood, silicones, fabrics (e.g. polyester), PET bottles, pharmaceuticals, fuel additive (MTBE), detergents, paints, cigarette filters etc.
  • Safe end user refuelling systems for Methanol are already developed and will virtually eliminate the risk of accidental access to the fuel by the private consumer.
  • Methanol has lower fire hazard than gasoline, and this is among the reasons for using it in race cars
For our purpose it is worth mentioning the fact that Methanol is probably the only fuel that can be reformed back to synthesis gas by the energy contained in its own exhaust gases.

Learn more about Methanol at Methanol Institute homepages,
www.methanol.org
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