Why methanol is the economic green vehicle fuel


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History and value of using methanol as a fuel.

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  • Goldman Saks 22 April 09 8.3% 2009 and 10.9% 20101.32 billion vs 300,000,000 = 4.3x Chapter 1. The long and short of supply and demand - DemandThe demand picture has changed greatly in the last few years. The curve shows the US demand versus that of China. Focusing on the US growth we can see it has been essentially linear (light blue curve fit) over a century. This includes the great depression and two world wars, so we can project it over the next 20 years with confidence.The rapid growth of China clearly shows that we can’t ignore it. It is growing non-linearly, and its rate cant be accurately predicted based on its past history. Thus, we conservatively assume linear growth at 7%.(It should be noted that China grew at 12% last year and is predicted to grow at 8.5% this year. China has already surpassed the US in total carbon usage, and will be using 2 times our consumption in the next fourteen years (at the projected growth rate of 7%). Usage = (1.05)^14 = 1.98 (2 times). Five percent is the difference in China vs the US growth rate. In 20 years (the period this presentation focuses on) China will be using 2.65 times the energy we use.INDIA’s increasing at 5-7%/year ( CHINA 5-7%/year)Has a ten year plan of 10% growth rateSo world’s economy is facing two simultaneous challenges: The end of cheap and easy oil and the explosive demand for fuel in developing countries.Demand for carbon has already exceeded that of the US.
  • Saudi’s use 25% now and if usage grows at same rate, by 2038 they will need to import oil if output remains constant.
  • January of 2009 natural gas prices decoupled from oil
  • Light Pink are gas basinsOrange are gas shales
  • 24 / 7 CNG self serve pump for cars on the UCLA campus3600 psi
  • Range is still limited
  • 14] Bandi, A., and Specht, M., ‘Renewable carbon-basedtransportation fuels’. In ‘Landolt-Bornstein’, EnergyTechnologies, Subvolume C: Renewable Energy, VIII/3C,pp. 441-482, Springer, Berlin 2006. ISBN 978-3-540-42962-3.
  • Drucker
  • Methanol is 3x NG and is 60% ethanol
  • Why methanol is the economic green vehicle fuel

    1. 1. Using Our Natural Gas and Biogas in the Most Intelligent Way for Transportation R. E. Falco, PhD Director Institute for Energy Resourcefulness
    2. 2. Transportation is the fastest growing use of oil 30-22 = 8 8/22 = 36 - 36% increase in 20 yearsInstitute for Energy Resourcefulness 2 5/30/12
    3. 3. Our oil production and our need gulf Alaska Gulf On-shoreInstitute for Energy Resourcefulness 3 5/30/12
    4. 4. THE DEMAND China is growing much faster than the US Demand growth from China is much greater than from the US 7% Twice our carbon footprint by 2015 8.3% -- 2009 United China 10.9% -- 2010 StatesInstitute for Energy Resourcefulness 4 5/30/12
    5. 5. Institute for Energy Resourcefulness 5 5/30/12
    6. 6. Saudi Arabia‟s need for its own oil vs. its production 2022 2038 UK Chatham House June 2012Institute for Energy Resourcefulness 6 5/30/12
    7. 7. 4x cost Institute for Energy Resourcefulness 7 5/30/12
    8. 8. Institute for Energy Resourcefulness 8 5/30/12
    9. 9. Oil vs. Natural Gas PricesKey point is that with the massive new supplyof natural gas, prices are no longer tied to oilInstitute for Energy Resourcefulness 9 5/30/12
    10. 10. 100 -120 years supplyInstitute for Energy Resourcefulness EIA Nov 08
    11. 11. Three major problemsInstitute for Energy Resourcefulness 11 5/30/12
    12. 12. $300,000 to$500,000 To install Institute for Energy Resourcefulness 12 5/30/12
    13. 13. Conversion of the vehicles is expensive Storage tanks in a CNG automobile $5000 - $10,000 additional costs 13Institute for Energy Resourcefulness 5/30/12
    14. 14. Reduced efficiency of operation on CNG is forced upon us by economics!!!• Too few pumps (and too few cars), because of very great expense, to make dedicated vehicles outside of depo based ones.• Thus, will need either dual fuel vehicles which will get fewer miles per gge.• Proof – after 4 decades only 140,000 of 255,000,000 vehicles are natural gas. Institute for Energy Resourcefulness 14 5/30/12
    15. 15. . The answer is to make methylalcohol (methanol) with natural gas, and run our vehicles on alcohol.• Methanol is a liquid fuel – very inexpensive conversions or no added costs.• Methanol is cheaper on an energy basis than low test gasoline.• Range limitations are easily taken care of: • alcohols fuels in existing Flex Fuel vehicles get 5-8% better mileage.• Fuel dispensers are of the same cost as gasoline dispensers.Institute for Energy Resourcefulness 15 5/30/12
    16. 16. SAE Paper # “Ongoing work with methanol-and ethanol-fueled enginesat the EPA‟s National Vehicle and Fuel EmissionsLaboratory has demonstrated improved brake thermalefficiencies over the baseline diesel engine and lowsteady state NOx, HC and CO, along with inherently lowPM emissions. In addition, the engine is expected tohave significant system cost advantages compared witha similar diesel…” The engine operating with methanol fuel showed peak BTE of nearly 43%, and a broader high efficiency operating range than the baseline diesel. 16 Institute for Energy Resourcefulness 5/30/12
    17. 17. Why not Ethanol? Henry Ford made the Model T both alcohol and gasoline compatible for 2 decades.Until (Rockefeller supported) Prohibition Institute for Energy Resourcefulness 17 5/30/12
    18. 18. Why not Ethanol? US Government showing Ethanol production growth 2005 36billion Toyota Showinggallons Ethanol By shortfall 2022 from gov‟t regulated amounts (green) 2010 2020 18 2030 Institute for Energy Resourcefulness 5/30/12
    19. 19. Why not Ethanol?The Biomass limit:The biomass limit exists for the supply of energy to thetransport sector which globally is between 20 and30% at current usage levels, and is much lowerfor developed countries with high population ensities.This was calculated at 2006 usage levels.As noted in an earlier slide:Institute for Energy Resourcefulness 19 5/30/12
    20. 20. Typical water usage for syngasSolar Methanol will use no water 20 Institute for Energy Resourcefulness 5/30/12
    21. 21. Emissions from growing biofuels “The impact of these emissions can be expressed in terms of „carbon payback time‟. The time required to produce a net benefit from biofuel production chains can vary from 17 years for bioethanol from sugar cane feed stock grown on cleared Brazilian cerrado woodland, to over 400 years for biodiesel produced from palm oil, grown on drained Indonesian peat forest.” Pearson et al 2009Institute for Energy Resourcefulness 21 5/30/12
    22. 22. • 100-120 years supply of natural gas • No competition with food • No water use issues • Cheaper to make than gasoline • Runs the car better, can better diesel efficiency • Lower CO2, • CO2 neutral if bio methanol, • and lower yet if solar methanol. • Methanol can be made renewablyInstitute for Energy Resourcefulness 22 5/30/12
    23. 23. Experience with Methanol In CaliforniaInstitute for Energy Resourcefulness 23 5/30/12
    24. 24. Safety GASOLINE METHANOL• In the California test (15 years), with over 200 million miles of methanoldriving, there was not a single case of accidental methanol poisoning.• For M100 a 90% reduction in fuel related automotive fires is projected. P. A. Machiele, Summary Of The Fire Safety Impacts of Methanol as a Transportation Fuel, SAE International paper 901113
    25. 25. EPA Brake Thermal Efficiency Comparison engine fueled on 100% same engine run in its methanol native diesel mode (1.9L in spark ignition mode VW TDI diesel) 39% 42% Typical 1.9L gasoline engine has 22-25% BTEInstitute for Energy Resourcefulness 25 5/30/12
    26. 26. Is alcohol fuel any fun to drive on? The Koenigsegg CCXR, a version of theCCX converted to use E85 or E100, as well as standard 98 octane gasoline, is currently the fastest and most powerful flexible fuel vehicle. Its twin supercharged V8 produces 1018 hp when running on biofuel, as compared to 806 hp on 91 octane unleaded gasoline.Institute for Energy Resourcefulness 26 5/30/12
    27. 27. Bromberg, L. and Cohn, D., "Alcohol Fueled Heavy Duty Vehicles Using Clean, High Efficiency Engines,” SAE Technical Paper 2010-01-2199, 2010, doi:10.4271/2010-01-2199. Author(s): Leslie Bromberg - Massachusetts Institute of Technology Daniel Cohn - Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyInstitute for Energy Resourcefulness 27 5/30/12
    28. 28. What Can This Mean for Fleet Economics?  Reduce engine system (engine plus exhaust treatment) cost by $10,000 - $15,000.  The engines cost less (Diesels are more expensive)  No need for DPF and Urea Filters (NOx)  Reduced maintenance  Fuel costs less  Better mileage – up to 5% better fuel economyInstitute for Energy Resourcefulness 28 5/30/12
    29. 29.  Methanex, the worlds largest methanol producer sells methanol for $1.34 per gal  Natural gas at the wellhead costs $0.306/gge (gas gallon equivalent).  Thus, methanol is 4.38 x value of natural gas  Thus, large natural gas companies, such as ExxonMobil, BP, Shell, Chevron, etc., can much more significantly monetize their assets. And it is still cheaper than gasoline.Institute for Energy Resourcefulness 29 5/30/12
    30. 30. Why Methanol? Contract pricing is substantially less than market prices.Institute for Energy Resourcefulness 30 5/30/12
    31. 31. Let‟s look at the Carbon Dioxide Emissions from methanol fuel production renewablesInstitute for Energy Resourcefulness 31 5/30/12
    32. 32. Further costs of converting to 100% methanol $30-$100 Lotus May 2012Institute for Energy Resourcefulness 32 5/30/12
    33. 33. There is an easy path  Both the MIT Engine Lab and Lotus engineering have a scientifically prescribed path to easy introduction of methanol into the fuelling picture.  The path utilizes the availability of Flex Fueled vehicles.  There are over 11,000,000 in the US  All new vehicles purchased by Los Alamos County are Flex Fuel Capable.Institute for Energy Resourcefulness 33 5/30/12
    34. 34. Lotus Engineering ResearchFour factors to „fool‟ the driver, the sensors and the regulators Institute for Energy Resourcefulness 34 5/30/12
    35. 35. Lotus Engineering Research for existing E85 vehicles 40%G 10%E 50%M 35 Institute for Energy Resourcefulness 5/30/12 For a 9.7:1 air fuel ratio
    36. 36. G = $ 3.11 % methanol G = $3.73
    37. 37. President Barack Obamas May 2011 memorandum to improve fleet management practices and improve fuel efficiency, stipulates moving the federal government to 100-percent alternative-fuel vehicle purchases by 2015. If the “Open Fuels Act” passes congress, they will all be 3-flex -- ethanol, methanol and gasoline.Institute for Energy Resourcefulness 38 5/30/12
    38. 38. A Way Forward for EconomicalEnvironmentally Responsible Transportation Policy in Los Alamos County • Buy methanol on open market and establish the use of GEM mixtures in an E-85 vehicle • consulting from Lotus or MIT • Run test fleet on GEM (G40-E10-M50) • Mix locally at airport pumping station? • Buy methanol on open market • Expand fleet using GEM mixture. • Contract from long term methanol price. • Buy all new vehicles with capability of 100% methanol usage (Open Fuels Act) • Plan generation of renewable methanol from LA landfill gas emissions • Apply for Federal Production Tax Credit • Plumb landfill • Use classical gasifiers to make methanol from landfill gas • Add solar gasifiers to make additional methanol, gain 30% in available energy, and utilize all of the CO2 emitted. Now totally green.Institute for Energy Resourcefulness 39 5/30/12
    39. 39. The renewable methanol process Los Alamos Landfill Maximum theoretical efficiency = 1.3*.85 = 1.10%Institute for Energy Resourcefulness 40 5/30/12
    40. 40. Conclusions  Transportation costs can be reduced, with minimum transition costs by using gasoline, ethanol methanol (GEM) blends in existing E85 vehicles.  Future vehicles can be less expensive to purchase, as well as operate if run on GEM mixtures.  We can eventually use the output from the LA landfill to make methanol.  Longer term we can combine solar reforming of the landfill gas with classical gasifiers to make methanol fuel that is WTW carbon neutral.Institute for Energy Resourcefulness 41 5/30/12
    41. 41. Bottom Line RecommendationsInstitute for Energy Resourcefulness 42 5/30/12
    42. 42. Institute for Energy Resourcefulness 43 5/30/12
    43. 43. Institute for Energy Resourcefulness 44 5/30/12
    44. 44. Institute for Energy Resourcefulness 45 5/30/12
    45. 45. Institute for Energy Resourcefulness 46 5/30/12
    46. 46. Institute for Energy Resourcefulness 47 5/30/12
    47. 47. Institute for Energy Resourcefulness 48 5/30/12
    48. 48. Volumetric vs. gravimetric energy density We have only three choices leftInstitute for Energy Resourcefulness 49 5/30/12