1. If this is the best solution, why isn’t it being used?
In fact, portions of it have been implemented.
- Brazil for example has been using ethanol as a renewable fuel for over 30 years.
- Volvo has a fleet of trucks running bio-DME and Sweden is building a large production facility for bio-methanol and bio-DME.
- China has a fleet of methanol taxis where the fuel is half the cost of gasoline.
- The Dutch are making bio-methanol from glycerin, which is a by-product from bio-diesel production
- Iceland is producing methanol from excess CO2 which is being used to supplement gasoline.
- In the mid 60’s methanol was the fuel of choice for the Indianapolis 500 race cars for safety and performance reasons
- California had a fleet of methanol cars in the 80’s which included 14,000 passenger cars and 400 buses in daily operation.
During the gas crisis in the 70’s, the US Synthetic Fuel Program concluded that methanol was the best alternative due to the flexibility of many feedstocks, cost of production, and impact on the existing infrastructure. Several authors have made similar conclusions including Drs George Olah, Alain Goeppert and G.K. Prakash who authored “Beyond Oil and Gas: The Methanol Economy” and Dr Robert Zubrin who wrote “Energy Victory”.
These studies, however, considered fossil based feedstocks. We are proposing purely biomass feedstocks. And this approach is supported by several studies including a 2010 MIT study1 which concluded:
“Produced from renewable biomass, methanol is an attractive green house gas reduction transportation fuel option? there are no technical hurdles either in terms of vehicle application or of distribution infrastructure?”
1 “Methanol as an alternative transportation fuel in the US” by L Bromberg and W.K. Cheng
2. Won’t Electric Vehicles (EVs) remove the need for vehicle fuels?
There are over 250 million vehicles in the US and about another 750 million throughout the rest of the world. EV’s account for a very small portion of cars today, so it will be awhile before the world is converted over to electric engines. And heavy duty trucks and railroad engines will continue to be powered using liquid fuel.
In addition, bio-methanol and bio-DME can be used in gas turbines to generate supplemental electricity when solar, wind and hydro generation is not sufficient.
Batteries based on lithium may not continue to be the preferred energy source for automobiles since lithium is somewhat unstable and 88% of the supplies are outside the US. Therefore, in the future electric power sources using Reformed Methanol Fuel Cells (RMFC) are likely to be used in vehicles and these can be fueled with bio-methanol.
3. Won’t fuels based on bio mass plants compete with the food supply?
Using bio-mass as an energy crop can actually increase the food supply!
This is based on where the crops are planted and the types of high cellulose plants used.
For more information on how we can increase the food supply with energy crops please contact us.
A Clean Alternative Choice