Beyond Oil and Gas: The Methanol Economy

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Wiley, Dec 2, 2009 - Science - 334 pages
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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.

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About the author (2009)

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 Université 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.

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