Bonneville Power Administration
|BPA Home EE Home Technologies Fuel Cells: Power for the Future Methanol Facts|
Fueling the BPA/Utility Alpha and Beta Units
The first fuel cell systems tested under the BPA/utility fuel cell development partnership use methanol as a fuel source. To learn more about methanol, read on ...
What is Methanol?
Methanol is a liquid chemical commonly known as wood alcohol. It is the simplest alcohol, containing one carbon atom. It is colorless, volatile, and has a very faint odor. Methanol is hygroscopic and totally miscible with water.
Where does Methanol Come From?
Derived usually from natural gas feedstock which is then reformed to carbon oxides and hydrogen. The resulting "synthesis gas" is circulated under pressure and moderate temperature through a conversion catalyst to form crude methanol. Distillation yields high purity methanol.
How Safe is Methanol?
Methanol is safer to handle and kinder to the environment than hydrocarbon fuels. Here are some comparative facts:
How is Methanol Being Used?
Fuel cell technology is advancing rapidly, with methanol as the practical fuel choice for home and automotive power generation. Fuel cells generate clean electricity by mixing hydrogen with oxygen from the air. Methanol is an economic way to transport and store that hydrogen.
What are the Advantages of Methanol?
Need help finding something? Send us a message, or give us a call at 800-622-4519.