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Utilizing Renewable Methanol to Power Electric Commuter Aircraft

20 Feb 2019, 01:45 UTC
Utilizing Renewable Methanol to Power Electric Commuter Aircraft
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A Firefly ATR 72 (Credit: Wikipedia/Ken Fielding)by Marcel F. WilliamsRenewable methanol (methyl alcohol) is a hydrocarbon fuel that can be derived from the synthesis of carbon dioxide (CO2) and hydrogen. Methyl alcohol can also be synthesized from syngas derived from the pyrolysis of hydrocarbon waste. The production of renewable methanol from both methods can be powered by carbon neutral electricity from both nuclear and renewable energy resources. CO2 can be extracted directly from the atmosphere or from the flu gases of a power plant using a renewable hydrocarbon fuel. Hydrogen can be produced from the electrolysis of freshwater, seawater, brine, or from desalinated water derived from seawater or brine.Methanol can be synthesized from the syngas resulting from the pyrolysis of urban and rural biowaste and hydrocarbon waste of non-biological origin such as polymers.Twenty million tonnes of methanol is produced annually, predominantly from fossil fuels, mostly as an industrial chemical precursor. But methanol has been used as a fuel or as a fuel additive for buses, automobiles, and even marine vessels. And methyl alcohol could also be used to power commuter passenger aircraft.In 2018, a Department of Energy report from Grigorii Soloveichik suggested that commercial-- propeller air transports-- modified to use ...

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