Green Methanol Synthesis
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Green-Methanol Synthesis or Green-Methanol is entirely developed from renewable sources of energy. Methanol made from this process would predominately synthesize from the following reaction:
How this differs from traditional methanol synthesis processes is what makes this process green. Hydrogen gas must be collected from the dissociation of water. The electrolysis of water must in turn be powered by a renewable source of electricity (wind, biomass, solar). The carbon-dioxide in turn can be culled from industries which already output copious amounts of the gas; thereby, preventing the gas from entering the atmosphere.
The driving forces behind the development of Green Methanol are manyfold. Currently, developed nations depend heavily on hydrocarbons for energy. Oil derivatives lead to gasoline which is the predominant fuel for vehicular travel. Because of the finite nature of this substance, its value is appreciating as its use is increasing.
Green Methanol is a fuel that can foster a nation's independence (rather than relying on imports from other nations).
Alternative to the Hydrogen Economy
The methanol economy based on the green-methanol synthesis process has been suggested as an alternative to the hydrogen economy. Because methanol can be infused into the current fuel infrastructure gains can be made immediately. Neither the infrastructure nor the technology exist to construct the hydrogen economy. Methanol, while having approximately half the energy density of gasoline by volume, has an octane rating of 113. Mixing 10% methanol with 90% gasoline with a rating of 90 octane will yield a blended octane value (BOV) of 130. Studies have shown that blends of up to 20% yield increased fuel economy; actual gains depend on vehicle type.
It has been shown that a pure methanol engine exhibits peak efficiency of nearly 43%, and maintains over 40% efficiency over a much wider range of speeds and loads as compared to the conventional diesel engine.
The more renewable sources of electricity supplant current fossil fuel sources of electricity the cleaner methanol production will become. Methanol, the so-called transition fuel, can allow an easy transition from fossil fuel dependency to a pure renewable energy dependency. As the full electrical production in a nation nears the status of being derived completely from renewable electricity, the need for methanol could be altogether supplanted.
At this point, there would have never been a need for a hydrogen economy.
- http://www.epa.gov/otaq/presentations/sae-2002-01-2743-v2.pdf [Matthew Brusstar, Mark Stuhldreher, David Swain and William Pidgeon, U. S. Environmental Protection Agency, 2002]