Is Methanol Using Co2 From the Atmosphere a New Fuel to Replace Gasoline?
John O’M. Bockris
DOI: 10.4236/sgre.2011.22017   PDF    HTML   XML   6,599 Downloads   10,657 Views   Citations


The recent disaster in the Gulf has drawn attention to the longevity of the oil supply and what alternative to gasoline is the appropriate fuel to which we should turn. The suggestion of Methanol as a substitute for gasoline as been greatly strengthened by George Olah in his publication UBeyond Oil and Gas: The Methanol EconomyU. However, there remained the question of burning methanol without special attention to its method of synthesis which would not add to the CO2 content of the atmosphere. Hydrogen has often been suggested as an alternative fuel because it burns clean. A comparison is made of Hydrogen and Methanol synthesized with hydrogen and CO2 from the atmosphere or biomass. The cost of the methanol as prepared would be $28 to $31 per GJ. Development is needed in the method by which to obtain the CO2from the atmosphere Uin a streamU. Three possible methods are outlined. Only one has been subject to detailed system analysis. However, two independent calculations give highly similar costs. Water, air and wind to pro-duce hydrogen for electrolysis of water, are the only resources necessary to make the methanol required. Changing over to any alternative fuel will impact the Oil companies. However, a change to methanol could be a long term solu-tion for them; whereas a trend towards electricity as the overall medium of energy would not be.

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J. Bockris, "Is Methanol Using Co2 From the Atmosphere a New Fuel to Replace Gasoline?," Smart Grid and Renewable Energy, Vol. 2 No. 2, 2011, pp. 152-157. doi: 10.4236/sgre.2011.22017.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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