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Geely May Begin Production of Methanol Cars in Late 2009

China Daily. Geely Auto may start mass production of its methanol-fueled cars (earlier post) in the second half of this year, its chairman said Saturday.

Geelymethanol
Methanol Haifeng. Click to enlarge.
The Zhejiang-based carmaker, which unveiled its methanol-powered Haifeng last year, will start production this year but “will not in the first half,” Chairman Li Shufu said on the sidelines of the annual sessions of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC).

Geely had earlier said that it would begin mass production of a dual-fuel methanol-gasoline version of its Haifeng sedan by the end of 2008. Earlier that year, Geely introduced a series of CNG dual-fuel vehicles. (Earlier post.)

Geely has set a target of 25% growth in sales for 2009, despite the global economic downturn.

Geely’s vehicle sales grew 20 percent from a year earlier in the first two months this year, Li disclosed. But its overseas sales growth “were almost flat” in the same period because of the global economic downturn, the chairman said. “The growth is relatively low, but I think it will pick up in the coming months,” he said.

Comments

Treehugger

Methanol as a fuel has a lot of virtues, very high octane index and high vaporisation heat that allow to work at higher compression ratio with better efficiency. It also has the lowest number of Carbon per atom of hydrogen of any fuel, it is easy to produce from biomass, it degrades very fast if spilled in the environment, it burns cleanly since it contains a lot of O.

On the downsides it is toxic for humans, has a low energy density (about half of gazoline) and burns with an invisible flamme.

Andrey Levin

Amen, Treehugger.

Two points to add: methanol is toxic only if it is ingested in quantity (couple of shots), otherwise it is harmless.

Methanol corrodes aluminum alloys, so methanol vehicle should have plastic intake manifold and internally coated air runners and such.

Treehugger

Repetitive exposure even to small amount of methanol in form of vapor can be toxic on the long for your nerves and your eyes. Not a showstopper but still requires a distribution system that keep the vapor confined

Henry Gibson

The antidote for methanol is ethanol which is also poisonous. Gasoline is poisonous and ethanol burns with a clear flame as well. Methanol and ethanol fires can be put out with water which is why methanol and now ethanol is used for some races in addition to their being clean burning. The low energy density is not a real problem as more and bigger tanks can be used.

Natural gas is the highest hydrogen energy content fuel per carbon and has higher energy density per unit weight. Dimethylether can be stored in propane tanks and used in diesel engines and is a product of methanol. Gasoline can be made very easily from methanol, but it is more energy efficient to burn the methanol directly.

Methanol should be the worlds standard fuel. ..HG..

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