This paper discusses the possibility of large-scale coal gasification plants that are capable of producing methanol at costs competitive with those of coventional fuels. According to estimates by Westinghouse Electric methanol must cost no more than $3.80 to $4.30 per million BTU, delivered, in order to compete as fuel for electric power generation. That estimate corresponds to 25 to 29 cents per gallon of methanol. Some California utilities that are currently evaluating methanol are paying from 53 to 63 cents per gallon, delivered. It is believed that the price could possibly go as low as 15 cents per gallon. The first ventures to test feasibility of methanol fuel on a commerical scale probably will be two 25,000 ton- per-day plants on the drawing board at Wentworth Brothers, Cincinnati. One such plant will be located on the coast near Anchorage and will ship methanol made from Alaskan coal by tanker to utilities plants near Los Angeles and San Francisco. The other plant will make methanol from North Dakota lignite for midwestern utilities. The first methanol may leave Anchorage in 1983, with the plant fully on stream by 1985. In addition to use of coal, it is believed that natural gas coproduced with oil from the North Slope of Alaska could be made into synthesis gas and converted to methanol. It could then be pumped through the Alyeska pipeline. Methanol at least has an assured future in transportation fuel in the form of methyl tert butyl ether as an octane booster. It also has been suggested as a gasoline supplement at 10% levels.

  • Corporate Authors:

    American Chemical Society

    1155 16th Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20036
  • Authors:
    • Stinson, S C
  • Publication Date: 1979-4-2

Media Info

  • Features: Figures; Tables;
  • Pagination: p. 28-30
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00194527
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jul 11 1979 12:00AM