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Methanex Corporation Message Board

  • TBlakeslee TBlakeslee Mar 1, 2012 2:30 PM Flag

    Methanol for cars

    In a previous article for National Review Online, I reported on how easy it is to enable the flex-fuel capabilities in modern automobiles, allowing them to run equally well on methanol, ethanol, or gasoline, thereby giving the customer fuel choice and, with it, a substantial opportunity for savings. For example, at current gasoline and methanol prices, the miles per dollar achieved by running my 2007 Chevy Cobalt on methanol is 40 percent higher than that possible with gasoline. This is not new technology: As extensively documented by Ford’s former director of alternative-fuel vehicle research, Roberta Nichols, the Big Three produced tens of thousands of highly successful methanol-gasoline flex-fuel cars for the state of California more than 20 years ago.

    At one time, adding flex-fuel capability to a car increased its production cost by about $100. That is no longer true. Currently, all new gasoline-powered cars sold in the U.S. are flex-fuel cars, but only about 5 percent are being sold as such. The rest are being marketed with their flex-fuel capability disabled by their manufacturers.

    News flash:
    Feb 29 (Reuters) - China will start a trial run of methanol-fuelled cars in northern Shanxi and Shaanxi provinces and eastern Shanghai city.

    With natural gas prices falling like a stone and oil prices rising, methanol's future never looked brighter. Methanex will reap the rewards.

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    • Do you know the cost to produce a gallon of methanol with, say $4 per mcf natgas?

      Celanese states that with $4 natgas, they have cash cost of $1.50 per gallon and capitol adds $.25 = $1.75. Natgas could double to $8 per mcf, and their ethanol would likely still be under $3.

      So why are we even considering CNG powered vehicles?? ...given the new infrastructure required, cost of CNG conversion, space issues, filling issues....

      • 1 Reply to brazil_83
      • Found the answer on pg. 126 of the recent MIT report on the future of natgas. Looks like they forecast methanol at $1.30 per gge with natgas at $4/mcf; $2.00 with natgas at $8. That is incredible. Also noticed that MIT picked methanol as the best choice for passenger cars (as a fuel derived from natgas).

        Next question: the Open Fuel Standard act. Looks like it's dying on the vine given our utterly corrupt govt. Anyone think it will pass? Is it even necessary given the economics?

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