April 22, 2012 in Letters, Opinion

Methanol could fuel cars

 

Your article in the April 9 paper “U.S. facing glut of natural gas” caught my attention. It stated that so much natural gas is being produced that prices are in a nosedive, and all storage facilities will soon be overflowing. This abundance can be turned to a great advantage: a clean-burning, high-octane auto fuel called methanol.

Natural gas is mostly methane. Methane can be readily converted (via a catalyst) to methanol. Many alternative fuels have suffered from high cost, unavailability or incompatibility with existing fuel systems. The article leads me to believe that methanol (made from methane) can avoid these cost and availability problems. Flex fuel systems have already solved the incompatibility issue.

Many scientists have done extensive research into methanol, including 1994 Nobel Chemistry Prize winner George Olaf. Aware of numerous advantages of methanol, he co-authored a book called “Beyond Oil and Gas: The Methanol Economy.” I hope your staff and readership will do a little Googling and get acquainted with his work, and the advantages of methanol.

Is there an entrepreneur in the wings who can convert the surplus of methane into an auto fuel that will benefit the economy and environment?

Justin Bell

Spokane


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