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Experts Explain Alternative Fuels for Liquid Vehicles

Experts Explain Alternative Fuels for Liquid Vehicles

2018/05/15 21:06
After the methanol vehicle pilots organized by the Ministry of Industry, Development and Reform Commission, and the Ministry of Science and Technology since 2012 have undergone five years of operation


After the methanol vehicle pilots organized by the Ministry of Industry, Development and Reform Commission, and the Ministry of Science and Technology since 2012 have undergone five years of operation, after strict inspection procedures and scientific evaluation, it can be said that the technology and application of methanol cars in China is truly being used by global automobiles. With the recognition of the energy industry, it has taken the lead in the global automotive and methanol fuel industry.

This should be grateful to the Chinese government’s industrial authorities, to the enterprises that participated in the development of the methanol industry, to the innovative methanol car engineering and technical personnel, and to the personnel from all walks of life for pilot operations.
For many years, methanol has been used as fuel in objective reality, such as early F1 racing fuels, and we were very fond of aviation, navigational model power fuels, and so on.
However, due to the nature of methanol's natural presence, some unscrupulous molecules pursue extremely immoral interests. The blending of fake alcohol causes people who have no idea to drink it by mistake, which seriously damages people's health and life. It also forms a poisonous methanol and cannot be formed in society. More extreme social awareness as a vehicle fuel.
Xie Zhenhua, the former secretary of the Technical Economic Committee of Shanghai Coking Co., Ltd., is also an expert of the three ministries commissioned methanol vehicle pilot expert group. From the perspective of science and understanding, rigorous and practical, methanol is used as the vehicle fuel, from the perspective of alternative fuels and environmental protection advantages. The five aspects of energy-saving advantages, environmental friendliness, and resource endowment are to elaborate scientific viewpoints, introduce standard content, and knowledge of fuel application.
It is recommended that engineers and managers in the automotive and internal combustion engine industries read it for the first time. We hope that friends in the energy field can also see it. We also hope that national energy policy leaders can see it.
- Wei Anli, Secretary-General of the Expert Group of the Methanol Car Trial Project of the Ministry of Three Ministries
The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has completed a five-year methanol car pilot project. The cumulative operating mileage of 1024 methanol vehicles participating in the pilot work exceeded 184 million kilometers, and consumed more than 24,000 tons of methanol fuel. A large number of pilot data fully validated the methanol car's adaptability, reliability, economy, safety, and environmental protection.

  As an alternative fuel for liquid vehicles, the methanol hazard index is lower than gasoline

Methanol is mainly produced through coal in China and is a very basic bulk chemical raw material.
The molecular formula of methanol, CH4O, is liquid under normal temperature and pressure conditions. Chemically, both methanol and ethanol are alcohols, and their chemical properties are very similar. They also have similar toxic mechanisms and the same mild hazard level for organisms.
Moreover, according to the National Standard for Occupational Exposure to Toxic Hazard Degree GBZ 230-2010, methanol, ethanol, and gasoline are all included in the light hazard category, and the hazard index of methanol is still lower than gasoline. In the 10 urban areas of the methanol vehicle pilot, there were no cases affecting human health during the physical examination of all the persons involved in the investigation of alcohol. The concentration of methanol in the air in environmental monitoring of alcohol-related workplaces was lower than the limit of occupational exposure regulations in China.
Methanol, ethanol, and gasoline are all flammable and explosive dangerous chemicals. The calorific value of methanol is lower than that of ethanol and gasoline. Its volatility is lower than that of gasoline, and it is easily dissolved in water. The harm in fire safety is also lower than that of gasoline.

  Methanol engine exhaust emission is better than gasoline and diesel engine

Methanol vehicles are superior to gasoline and diesel vehicles in emissions. After the use of methanol fuel, the National III engine can reach the national standard of four, and the national four engine can reach the national standard 5. During the pilot period, all vehicle emission indicators that were sampled and tested in accordance with the regulations met the standard, and all the formaldehyde emission indicators that were specifically set for the methanol vehicle pilot work were also met.

Methanol fuel octane up to 112, can make the engine work more smoothly. As an oxygenated fuel, methanol improves the combustion reaction of the engine and improves the efficiency of the conversion of the thermal power. The actual ratio of equivalent caloric value replacement is reduced by 1.7 to 1 compared to the theoretical value.
Because the stoichiometric air-fuel ratio of methanol burning in the engine is only 6.45, which is more than half than the air-fuel ratio of 14.6 for gasoline; adding engine thermal efficiency means that the engine's air volume will decrease accordingly; while the engine's intake air volume decreases Nitrogen inhalation is reduced by the same amount, and the amount of nitrogen oxide produced should also be reduced.
At the same time, the exhaust temperature of the methanol engine is lower than that of gasoline and diesel. The reduction of the operating temperature also promotes the reduction of nitrogen oxide emissions.
Therefore, after the fine calibration of the methanol engine operating conditions, we saw that in addition to the significant reductions in carbon monoxide and hydrocarbon pollutants in the actual exhaust emissions of methanol vehicles, the nitrogen oxides also decreased and the overall emissions were effectively and balancedly controlled. .

  Methanol vehicle has obvious advantages in energy saving

In the five-year pilot practice in ten cities and municipalities in five provinces and cities, 1024 methanol vehicles of different types have adopted different modes of operation, with a total operating mileage of 180 million kilometers, and a passenger car consumes about 100 liters of methanol per 100 kilometers. , fuel consumption compared to the same type of gasoline vehicles, such as caloric replacement ratio from the theoretical value to 1.7 to 1, according to the calorific value of gasoline and other energy conversion efficiency can be increased by more than 20%; use of diesel / methanol combustible combustible commercial technology The replacement rate of diesel fuel in vehicles exceeds 30%. The replacement ratio is 1.2 to 1. According to the diesel consumption, the average energy conversion efficiency is calculated by equal calorific value to increase the average energy saving by more than 12%.
The thermal efficiency of the internal combustion engine using methanol fuel is substantially higher than that of gasoline and diesel, which is mainly due to the fact that the methanol fuel contains half the mass of oxygen. This changes the combustion behavior of the fuel in the cylinder, and greatly improves the combustion conversion efficiency of gasoline and diesel.
The utilization rate of coal to methanol is much higher than that of coal to make oil
In China, methanol production mainly uses coal as raw material.
The use of coal as a raw material for the production of vehicle finished oils has a direct and indirect liquefaction process for making oil. Among them, the Shenhua Group's annual production of 1 million tons of coal directly catalyzed hydrogenation and oil production projects has been successfully put into production, becoming one of the symbols of China's coal chemical technology leading world; the use of coal first gasification, and then the indirect production of oil by syngas catalytic reaction The Fischer-Tropsch synthesis process also has several large-scale production facilities in China that have been successfully put into production. Another process approach for coal-to-liquids production is indirect oil production through intermediate product methanol dehydration. This also has several successful large-scale projects in China. .
The most advanced unit consumption index of domestic coal-to-methanol production is approximately 1.6 tons of standard coal per ton of methanol. In addition, Shenhua’s 1 million tons of coal directly produced oil and other by-products, requiring 4.35 tons of raw coal consumed per ton of product; the unit consumption of methanol indirect oil consumption is approximately 2.353 tons of methanol per ton of raw material, plus The steam and electricity consumption in the process were converted into raw coal totaling 5.65 tons.
Calculated on the basis of the alternative gasoline ratio of methanol fuel engine 1.7, the consumption of 15 liters of methanol per 100 kilometers of Geely methanol car is equivalent to 19.2 kilograms of coal; if coal is directly used as fuel, the fuel consumption of 8.82 liters per hundred kilometers can be converted into 28.4 kilograms of coal; If the method of indirect oil production by methanol, 8.82 liters of fuel consumption will be equivalent to 36.8 kilograms of coal consumption.
It can be seen that in the comparison of coal-based fuels, the utilization rate of methanol production is much higher than that of coal-to-oil technology. It is precisely because of this that the Chinese government has made a correct decision to stop the approval of follow-up projects in a timely manner after solving the coal-to-liquidity technical reserves. In addition, other countries in the world except South Africa have not promoted the industrialization of coal-based oil production.
From the perspective of isothermal energy conversion efficiency, car engines use methanol directly as a fuel, and compared to coal-to-oil production vehicle liquid fuels, not only the resources and energy consumption of the production process are avoided, but methanol can be directly used as a fuel. Can significantly increase the thermal efficiency of the engine.
Significant reduction in energy consumption from coal-fired production
Using methanol as an automotive fuel, the direct and indirect reduction of coal consumption can essentially reduce the energy consumption of ineffective combustion in the fuel production process, and also significantly reduce the emission of environmental pollutants and carbon dioxide.
In addition, the desulfurization and decarbonization purification process of syngas in methanol production is to emit carbon dioxide in a concentrated manner, and the emission concentration can be up to 90% or more. The existing process can be further refined into food-grade carbon dioxide, and used in firefighting and industry. Use of actual products such as inert gas.
If geological storage management is needed in the future, or in combination with geothermal, photovoltaic, wind power, hydraulic power, etc. to develop carbon dioxide hydrogenation to methanol, such a high concentration of carbon dioxide will also be more convenient and more energy-efficient.

  Methanol is more environmentally friendly and greener

When methanol is used as a fuel, the pollution discharge to the surrounding environment is mainly in the process of storage, transportation and addition. Transport accidents, storage leakage, splashing, methanol evaporation, etc. are the main ways of methanol pollution emissions.
The national standard for gasoline stipulates that the vapor pressure is 40-85 kPa at 37.8°C, and the vapor pressure of methanol is 31.9 kPa at the same temperature, which is obviously lower than that of gasoline; the latent heat of vaporization of methanol is 1167 kj/kg, much higher than the gasoline value of 293-841 kj/kg. Under normal use and storage conditions, the amount of methanol emissions into the atmosphere is much lower than gasoline.
Methanol is easily soluble in water, and the methanol that enters water or soil will quickly be diluted. When the concentration is lower than the threshold for the survival of microorganisms, it can be degraded by natural microorganisms. However, gasoline and diesel are hardly soluble in water and difficult to diffuse. They are difficult to degrade in the natural environment and can produce cumulative pollution. In addition, the waste water contains a small amount of methanol is conducive to the degradation of microorganisms to remove nitrogenous substances in the waste water.
Therefore, although methanol fuel has some toxicity, it is easy to degrade in the environment. The use of methanol fuel will not cause serious pollution to the environment.
In water, the biodegradation of methanol and ethanol is much faster than that of crude oil or gasoline. The residence time of alcohol fuel in water is calculated in hours, while the retention time scale of crude oil, gasoline and diesel is calculated in several years.
It has been estimated that if 10,000 tons of methanol leak into the sea and diffuse dilution and dilution with the help of ocean currents, the concentration of methanol will drop to 0.36% within 1 hour after leakage, and the concentration will be even lower. In the following days, microorganisms can degrade the diluted methanol by biodegradation.
However, in a gasoline leakage accident of a similar size, gasoline is insoluble in water and will not be easily diffused because it is covered in a large area on the surface of seawater. Long-term accumulation may lead to regional ecological disasters.
From this point of view, the use of alcohol fuels for the transportation of alcohol fuels or marine diesel engines on ships will, once leaked, harm the ecological environment of methanol much more than petroleum and its finished products.
It should be pointed out that the nature of methanol in the environment is also very different from that of methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE). MTBE is not easily degraded and therefore has been banned from oxygenated octane number in some countries and regions in the world. Additives will become a trend.
When methanol overflows in terrestrial soil, fungi and bacteria show greater tolerance. According to data, if the soil surface is saturated with methanol, one week later, at a depth of 10cm to 30cm, more than 50% of fungal spores (mushrooms) can restore their activity. After 3 weeks, 90% of them can recover their activity. It also recovers faster.
Sweden had conducted tests on grass, spraying grassland with 1.35 L/m2 of gasoline and M15 and 2.71 L/m2 of methanol and ethanol, and then removing the soil at a depth of 10cm to 30cm for the above fuel and its main components such as alcohol, Benzene, toluene and alkanes were analyzed. The results show that methanol and ethanol are more likely to evaporate from the surface, and are easily transferred with water to the place where the microorganisms are in the soil. These biological activities can further reduce the concentration of methanol. After four weeks, the above methanol and ethanol in the soil. The concentration is only 3ppm level.
In order to evaluate the long-term effects of alcohol fuel and gasoline spilled on grassland, the oxygen consumption capacity of the soil in the soil was measured and analyzed in years. The high aeration oxygen consumption indicates that the microorganisms are rich in survival, and low aeration oxygen consumption indicates that the microorganisms in the soil are damaged. As a result, the soil of gasoline and M15 sprinkled grass showed low oxygen consumption.
The effects of alcohol fuels and gasoline on the actual growth of plants were also tested abroad. The results of the study showed that in soils that were sprayed with methanol and ethanol, plant growth was less affected than that of gasoline and M15 fuel blends. A year later, in areas contaminated with alcohol fuel, the total amount of plant growth is 65% of normal soil, while the total amount of plants grown from soil contaminated with gasoline and M15 is only 50% and 45% of the uncontaminated soil. .
The combination of these experimental studies shows that the impact of methanol on the terrestrial ecosystem is not as severe as that of gasoline.
Schedule: Estimated half-life of methanol and benzene in the environment [1]
[1] Methanol Institute, Global Methanol Industry Association, Evaluation of the Fate and Transport of Methanol in the Environment, Methanol's Fate and Transfer in the Environment, January 1999

Promoting the use of methanol as a vehicle fuel complies with China's energy national conditions

 China's energy resources and national conditions are "poor oil and relatively low gas," and the status of coal as an energy source cannot fundamentally change for a long time.

Coal-to-methanol is an effective way to cleanly use coal. If methanol becomes a larger share of alternative fuel for vehicles, it will make a strategy for China's energy diversification, improve China's energy security status, and overcome environmental governance difficulties in coal utilization. huge contribution.
In contrast to direct combustion and direct emission methods such as power generation, the coal-to-methanol process is completely closed under high pressure and temperature, and all three wastes in the coal-to-methanol process can be reasonably used and collected, and can be discharged and treated in a standardized manner. Technology green.
Methanol products do not contain sulfur, and the separation and removal of sulfur in methanol production is converted into sulfur, sulfuric acid, or ammonium sulfate fertilizer products through a special process and can be comprehensively utilized; methanol production does not emit SOX pollutants; gasification of coal in methanol production The process uses pure oxygen, no nitrogen, and no NOx emissions.
Therefore, in China, the coal-to-methanol method is an effective way to cleanly utilize coal resources, and it is also a necessary way for China's Ministry of Science and Technology to propose the clean utilization of carbon-based energy during the 13th Five-Year Plan.
The energy efficiency conversion efficiency of coal-to-methanol alternative product oil for methanol vehicles is higher than that of traditional gasoline and diesel vehicles, higher than that of natural gas vehicles, and exhaust emissions are also superior to these conventional vehicles. At the same time, methanol also has the same ratio of hydrogen to carbon as natural gas. As a low-carbon energy source, it also has important significance for carbon dioxide emission reduction. The promotion of the use of methanol fuel has a significant contribution to reducing air pollutant emissions and carbon dioxide emissions.