The Naked Scientists

The Naked Scientists Forum

Author Topic: Can methanol power hydrogen cars?  (Read 2641 times)

Offline thedoc

  • Forum Admin
  • Administrator
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 511
  • Thanked: 12 times
    • View Profile
Can methanol power hydrogen cars?
« on: 21/03/2013 08:40:07 »
Hydrogen cars are limited by the problem of gas storage. Research into efficiently extracting hydrogen from methanol my provide an answer...

Read the whole story on our website by clicking here

  or Listen to the Story or [download as MP3]
« Last Edit: 21/03/2013 08:40:07 by _system »


 

Offline Bored chemist

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 8665
  • Thanked: 42 times
    • View Profile
Re: Can methanol power hydrogen cars?
« Reply #1 on: 02/03/2013 18:38:48 »
Why not just use the methanol as a fuel?
 

Offline Ethos_

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 1277
  • Thanked: 14 times
    • View Profile
Re: Can methanol power hydrogen cars?
« Reply #2 on: 02/03/2013 21:28:06 »
Why not just use the methanol as a fuel?
Absolutely........................and if I'm not mistaken, methanol has a greater BTU output than pure hydrogen resulting in big gains in horse power. Also, it can use the very high compression ratios without detonation problems associated with pre-ignition. I was involved in the sport of drag racing for many years and know the advantages of methanol for use in the internal combustion engine.
 

Offline CliffordK

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 6321
  • Thanked: 3 times
  • Site Moderator
    • View Profile
Re: Can methanol power hydrogen cars?
« Reply #3 on: 03/03/2013 08:19:16 »
In the article, I think they are actually producing carbon dioxide and water from the methanol.
I.E. They are using the methanol as fuel.

However, I think the goal is to make a low temperature fuel cell. 

Hydrogen, methane, and presumably methanol can be used in fuel cells.  However, the high pressure/temperature requirements make them somewhat unfeasible for use in automobiles. 

If a fuel cell can be run at less than 100C, and near 1 ATM, it certainly would be much more practical, assuming, of course, that it is also reasonably efficient.  Warming it up, and cooling it down would not be as problematic either.
 

Offline shagydeep

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 10
    • View Profile
Re: Can methanol power hydrogen cars?
« Reply #4 on: 14/03/2013 09:54:40 »
Why not just use the methanol as a fuel?

Hello,
Because no one liquid has it raw power and it could not be use as it is...
 

Offline peppercorn

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 1466
    • View Profile
    • solar
Re: Can methanol power hydrogen cars?
« Reply #5 on: 19/03/2013 23:45:36 »
Why not just use the methanol as a fuel?
Clearly it can ~ Using a Direct-methanol Fuel-cell (DMFC).
However, they are inherently inefficient, mainly due to an effect called 'cross-over'.  Also in DMFC the methanol has to be delivered to the cell in the form of a weak solution, making it fairly useless for transportation.  The other option, prior to developing this process, involved reforming the methanol via an independent step then feeding the hydrogen gas produced to a standard PEM cell, but this is both more complex and bulky, and needs to operate at higher temperatures.



This type of cell design has a lot of potential (said as someone who thinks the 'hydrogen economy' is non-starter) because it appears that all the reforming reactions (three in all) are happening at the cell interface.  Although methanol is a fairly low energy-dense fuel (with less than half that of petrol), it has the potential to integrate with our current road-fuel infrastructure with far fewer issues than hydrogen would cause.
« Last Edit: 19/03/2013 23:51:12 by peppercorn »
 

The Naked Scientists Forum

Re: Can methanol power hydrogen cars?
« Reply #5 on: 19/03/2013 23:45:36 »

 

SMF 2.0.10 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines
SMFAds for Free Forums