1-Introduction: Methanol is the simplest alcohol, and is a light, volatile (Less than petrol), colorless, falmmable liquid with a distinctive odor very similar to, but slightly sweeter than, that of ethanol (drinking alcohol). At room temperature, it is a polar liquid, and is used as an antifreeze, solvent, fuel, as a denaturant for ethanol, fuel cells, feedstock for synthetic hydrocarbons such as (Formaldehyde, acetic acid, polymers, paints, adhesives, construction materials.)
It is also used for producing biodiesel via trans -esterification reaction. Methanol burns in oxygen including open air, forming carbon dioxide and water: 2 CH 3 OH + 3 O 2 → 2 CO 2 + 4 H 2 O
Methanol burns cleanly in a car engine. Its combustion is more complete than that of petrol so levels of carbon monoxide are reduced. Also it does not release carcinogenic benzene vapor or other aromatic hydrocarbons into the air. It has a high octane number and would require only small changes to the engine and petrol pump design of any vehicle.
Higher flame speed results in more complete fuel combustion. Burns at lower temperatures use air- cooling instead of liquid-cooling lighter vehicles. which is poisonous to the central nervous system, and may cause blindness, coma, and death.
2- Production: A- Syn-Gas method is use for almost all production of Methanol –CO + 2H 2 ↔ CH 3 OH –used catalyst is a mixture of copper, zinc oxide, and alumina –CO 2 + 3H 2 ↔ CH 3 OH + H 2 O –Used catalyst is Copper oxide (CuO) nanorods coated by cuprous oxide (Cu2O).
B-From methane The direct catalytic conversion of methane to methanol using Cu-zeolites or other catalysts is an alternative process for the efficient production of methanol.
Impact on environment Methanol is more environmentally friendly. It does not release carbon monoxide, nor does it emit carcinogenic benzene vapor or other aromatic hydrocarbons as its combustion is more complete. It is also less volatile than fuel and is less explosive.
Conclusion So overall using methanol would generally be more beneficial. It is cheap and is easily produced and would last a long time. It is quite safe and is environmental friendly. Also most of the current technology used in vehicles today would suit using methanol apart from a few small changes. As you see methanol could be the fuel of the future and some companies today are already starting to use it.