Author(s): George A. Olah
The world is currently consuming about 85 million barrels of oil a day, and about two-thirds as much natural gas equivalent, both derived from non-renewable natural sources. In the foreseeable future, our energy needs will come from any available alternate source. Methanol is one such viable alternative, and also offers a convenient solution for efficient energy storage on a large scale. In this updated and enlarged edition, renowned chemists discuss in a clear and readily accessible manner the pros and cons of humankind's current main energy sources, while providing new ways to overcome obstacles. Following an introduction, the authors look at the interrelationship of fuels and energy, and at the extent of our non-renewable fossil fuels. They also discuss the hydrogen economy and its significant shortcomings. The main focus is on the conversion of CO2 from industrial as well as natural sources into liquid methanol and related DME, a diesel fuel substitute that can replace LNG and LPG. The book is rounded off with an optimistic look at future possibilities. A forward-looking and inspiring work that vividly illustrates potential solutions to our energy and environmental problems.
"In my opinion the authors have eminently achieved their goal, and I am pleased to recommend most enthusiastically this inexpensive, forward-looking, and inspiring book to anyone concerned with the major challenge of future energy and environmental problems - a central issue for our society." The Chemical Educator "...a topical book, which challenges the important questions of this century. This book will contribute to the intense discussion to find the right answers. Some questions have been answered forward-looking." Angewandte Chemie I.E. "A lucidly written, attractively produced book this constitutes one of the best introductions - presented in the readable style of a definitive New Yorker magazine article...To all who care about alternative sources of energy and of chemical building blocks for the future this book is an invaluable guide." ChemPhysChem "The book presents the reader with an analysis of energy history, an analysis of the status quo and a description of the methanol thesis. It is a book that should appeal to science historians, chemists and chemical engineers alike." Chemistry World "... an interesting and thought-provoking book..." Chemistry & Industry "Throughout, the text and arguments presented are exceptionally clear and engaging. For anyone interested in the subjects of energy, fossil fuels, alternative fuels, and energy solutions, this book will be a valuable resource." Chemical & Engineering News "When I first picked up this book, it looked technical, possibly of interest only to specialists. But then I began reading. Throughout, the text and arguments presented are exceptionally clear and engaging. For anyone interested in the subjects of energy, fossil fuels, alternative fuels, and energy solutions, this book will be a valuable resource." www.pubs.acs.org "...The book is rounded off with a glimps into the future." Metall
Born in 1927 in Budapest, Hungary, George A. Olah obtained his doctorate at the Technical University of Budapest, and is now a Distinguished Professor and Director of the Loker Hydrocarbon Institute at the University of Southern California. He has received numerous awards and recognitions worldwide, including memberships in various academies of science and 12 honorary degrees. He has some 1,400 scientific papers, 20 books and more than 140 patents to his name. In 1994, Prof Olah was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his discoveries. Alain Goeppert was born in 1974 in Strasbourg, France. After obtaining his diploma in chemistry from the University Robert Schuman in Strasbourg, he received his engineering degree from the Fachhochschule Aalen, Germany. He then returned to Strasbourg to study the reactivity of alkanes in strong acid systems under the direction of Prof Jean Sommer at the Universite Louis Pasteur, earning his PhD in 2002. He then joined the groups of Professors George A. Olah and G. K. Surya Prakash at the Loker Hydrocarbon Research Institute as a research associate. Dr. Goeppert's current research is focused on the transformation of methane and CO2 into more valuable products and CO2 capture technologies. Currently a Professor and Olah Nobel Laureate Chair in Hydrocarbon Chemistry and Scientific Co-Director at the Loker Hydrocarbon Research Institute at USC, G. K. Surya Prakash was born in 1953 in Bangalore, India. After gaining his bachelor and master degrees from India he obtained his PhD from the University of Southern California under the direction of Prof Olah in 1978. Professor Prakash has close to 600 scientific papers, 9 books and 25 patents to his name, and has received many accolades, including two American Chemical Society National Awards. His primary research interests are in superacid, hydrocarbon, synthetic organic & organofluorine chemistry, energy and catalysis areas.
INTRODUCTION HISTORY OF COAL IN THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION AND BEYOND HISTORY OF PETROLEUM OIL AND NATURAL GAS Oil Extraction and Exploration Natural Gas FOSSIL FUEL RESOURCES AND THEIR USE Coal Petroleum Oil Unconventional Oil Sources Natural Gas Coalbed Methane Tight Sands and Shales Methane Hydrates Outlook DIMINISHING OIL AND NATURAL GAS RESERVES THE CONTINUING NEED FOR CARBON FUELS, HYDROCARBONS AND THEIR PRODUCTS Fractional Distillation Thermal Cracking FOSSIL FUELS AND CLIMATE CHANGE Effects of Fossil Fuels on Climate Change Mitigation RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCES AND ATOMIC ENERGY Introduction Hydropower Geothermal Energy Wind Energy Solar Energy: Photovoltaic and Thermal Bioenergy Ocean Energy: Tidal, Wave and Thermal Power Nuclear Energy Future Outlook THE HYDROGEN ECONOMY AND ITS LIMITATIONS Hydrogen and its Properties Development of Hydrogen Energy Production and Uses of Hydrogen The Challenge of Hydrogen Storage Centralized or Decentralized Distribution of Hydrogen? Hydrogen Safety Hydrogen as a Transportation Fuel Fuel Cells Outlook THE ?METHANOL ECONOMY?: GENERAL ASPECTS METHANOL AND DIMETHYL ETHER AS FUELS AND ENERGY CARRIERS Background and Properties Chemical Uses of Methanol Methanol as a Transportation Fuel Dimethyl Ether as a Transportation Fuel DME Fuel for Electricity Generation and as a Household Gas Biodiesel Fuel Advanced Methanol-Powered Vehicles Hydrogen for Fuel Cells Based on Methanol Reforming Direct Methanol Fuel Cell (DMFC) Fuel Cells Based on Other Methanol Derived Fuels and Biofuel Cells Regenerative Fuel Cell Methanol and DME as Marine Fuels Methanol and DME for Static Power and Heat Generation Methanol and DME Storage and Distribution Price of Methanol and DME Safety of Methanol and DME Emissions from Methanol- and DME-Powered Vehicles Environmental Effects of Methanol and DME Beneficial Effect of Chemical CO2 Recycling to Methanol on Climate Change PRODUCTION OF METHANOL: FROM FOSSIL FUELS AND BIO-SOURCES TO CHEMICAL CARBON DIOXIDE RECYCLING Methanol from Fossil Fuels Methanol through Methyl Formate Methanol from Methane without Producing Syn-Gas Methanol from Biomass, Including Cellulosic Sources Chemical Recycling of Carbon Dioxide to Methanol METHANOL-BASED CHEMICALS, SYNTHETIC HYDROCARBONS AND MATERIALS Methanol-Based Chemical Products and Materials Methyl tert-butyl Ether and DME Methanol Conversion into Light Olefins and Synthetic Hydrocarbons Methanol to Olefin (MTO) Processes Methanol to Gasoline (MTG) Processes Methanol-Based Proteins Outlook CONCLUSIONS AND OUTLOOK Where We Stand Now The ?Methanol Economy?, a Solution for the Future