Some challenges for the methanol lobby

January 11, 2013

The ranks of  methanol economy adherents, especially as a transport fuel alternative,  are growing, and Michael Levy at the Council on Foreign Relations Energy & Environment blog has noticed.  Levy, however, is skeptical about methanol and has several questions for the methanol lobby that he feels must be addressed before any political action will be taken:

  1. What would the all-in cost of marginal methanol supplies be in a world that featured rapidly growing U.S. methanol production for transportation?
  2. How much risk would investors in methanol production face – and what would that mean for likely investment and production?
  3. What would the national benefits of an oil-to-methanol shift be? Or, put a different way, is a shift to methanol similar to increasing oil production, or to cutting oil use?

Many of the most important questions are answered – or, at least, the foundation of the answers can be found – in Nobel Prize winning chemist George Olah’s Beyond Oil and Gas:  The Methanol Economy, which we highly recommend to any interested party.

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