Beyond Oil and Gas: The Methanol Economy

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John Wiley & Sons, Aug 21, 2006 - Science - 304 pages
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In this masterpiece, the renowned chemistry Nobel Laureate, George A. Olah and his colleagues discuss in a clear and readily accessible manner the use of methanol as a viable alternative to our diminishing fossil fuel resources. They look at the pros and cons of our current main energy sources, namely oil and natural gas, and varied renewable energies, and new ways to overcome obstacles.
Following an introduction, Olah, Goeppert and Prakash look at the interrelation of fuels and energy, and at the extent of our non-renewable fossil fuel resources. Despite the diminishing reserve and global warming, the authors point out the continuing need for hydrocarbons and their products. They also discuss the envisioned hydrogen economy and its significant shortcomings. The main section then focuses on the methanol economy, including the conversion carbon dioxide from industrial exhausts (such as flue gases from fossil fuel burning power plants) and carbon dioxide contained in the atmoshere into convenient liquid methanol for fuel uses (notably in fuel cells) and as a raw material for hydrocarbons. The book is rounded off with a glimpse into the future.
A forward-looking and inspiring work regarding the major challenges of future energy and environmental problems.

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About the author (2006)

George A. Olah, PhD, was born 1927 in Budapest Hungary. He obtained his doctoral degree at the Technical University of Budapest. In 1956, Olah left Hungary and moved to the US, where he and his coworkers discovered carbocation and hydrocarbon chemistry in superacids. For his discoveries, he was awarded the 1994 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. He is a Distinguished Professor and Director of the Loker Hydrocarbon Institute at the University of Southern California. He has published more than 1300 scientific papers and authored or edited 15 books. He holds more than 120 patents. His current research interests are in the hydrocarbon chemistry and energy areas covering various aspects of methanol economy. He has received innumerable awards and accolades, including the 2005 Priestley Medal from the American Chemical Society.

Alain Goeppert, PhD, was born in 1974 in Strasbourg, France. After obtaining his technician diploma in chemistry from the University Robert Schuman in Strasbourg, he received his Diplom-ingenieur 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 Universitšt Louis Pasteur, and earned his PhD in 2002. After this, he joined the groups of Professors Olah and Prakash at the Loker Hydrocarbon Research Institute as a research associate, supported partially by a Lavoisier fellowship of the Ministere des Affaires Etrangers Francais. His current research centers on the transformation of methane and CO2 into more valuable products and CO2 capture technologies.

G. K. Surya Prakash, PhD, was born 1953 in Bangalore, India. After his B. S (Bangalore Univ.) and M. S (IIT, Madras) degrees from India he came to US in 1974 and obtained his Ph. D degree from the University of Southern California (USC) under the direction of Professor Olah in 1978. He is currently a Professor and Olah Nobel Laureate Chair in Hydrocarbon Chemistry at the USC at Los Angeles, California. His primary research interests are in superacid, hydrocarbon, synthetic organic & organofluorine chemistry and energy and catalysis areas. He is a prolific author with more than 500 scientific papers and co-authored or edited 7 books. He has received many awards and accolades including two American Chemical Society National Awards in Fluorine (2004) and Hydrocarbon Chemistry (2006).

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