Methanol as fuel substitute gets chilly reception from top federal official

Backers of using methanol from natural gas as a substitute for gasoline got a chilly reception yesterday from director of the Energy Department’s Vehicles Technologies Office, who said he is skeptical the fuel will gain widespread adoption for use in cars and trucks.

Using the fuel would reduce reliance on imported oil and offer a hedge against oil price shocks that raise gasoline prices, Citizens for Affordable Energy founder and former Shell executive John Hofmeister says, adding that better lobbying of D.C. lawmakers is needed; ethanol producers are said to outspend methanol makers on lobbying by 50 to 1.

Nevertheless, Methanex (MEOH), the world's largest methanol supplier, expects a lot of new plants to be built in the U.S.; the company is dismantling two plants in Chile and plans to reassemble them in Louisiana.

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Comments (2)
  • User 13173762
    , contributor
    Comment (1) | Send Message
    The best fuel alternative for heavy trucks is dimethyl ether (DME) which is a safe derivative of methanol.
    19 Mar 2014, 12:12 PM Reply Like
  • tobyhorn
    , contributor
    Comment (1) | Send Message
    This chilly reception should have been expected but not warranted.
    19 Mar 2014, 12:48 PM Reply Like
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