Methanol Moving Forward

FuelMagazineMI’s CEO Greg Dolan comments on the future of the methanol industry in an article published in the current issue of Hart Energy’s Fuel Magazine.  In the article Dolan discusses the importance of methanol as a chemical building block, and also its emerging importance as an energy fuel used in cars, trucks, buses, marine vessels and even electric power turbines.

The shale gas powered resurgence of the methanol industry in the United States is a topic covered by the article, as Dolan notes that “If you add up all this activity we’re talking about getting to the point where the U.S. will have some 16 million metric tons of production capacity in the next three years.  To put that in perspective, our current chemical demand is about 6.5 million metric tons, so you could have an overhang of 10 million metric tons [or 3.3 billion gallons] looking for a market.”

In order to reach methanol’s potential as an energy fuel source, Dolan suggests that the federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) be replaced by a “domestic fuel standard,” allowing both domestically produced methanol and ethanol to play roles in the nation’s fuel pool for low-level fuel blending.  “It [the RFS] should be modified to reflect the energy picture we have today.  For the consumer, taking natural gas and turning it into methanol is a way for them to monetize that value at the pump that they’re not going to be getting any other way.”  The full article can be found starting on page 58 of Fuel Magazine here.

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