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Author: pauleckler Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 18439  
Subject: Re: Japan co2 to methanol Date: 8/26/2014 11:49 AM
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When you say methanol to plastics, most people think formaldehyde resins or dimethyl terephthalate to polyesters. But methanol to olefin technology (that can make polyethylene and polypropylene) is seeing some interest. Honeywell has technology:

http://boards.fool.com/honeywell-methanol-to-olefin-technolo...

George Olah, a famous chemist from Ohio State University has written a book calling for a methanol based economy. The core of his plan is recycling carbon dioxide back to methanol, and then use of methanol as a fuel.

But chemists know the thermodynamics are challenging. Carbon monoxide to methanol is easy, well known commercial technology, but carbon dioxide to carbon monoxide is a large endothermal process. This means you need a major energy source to make this happen. If you are not careful burning fossil fuels to provide that energy will generate more carbon dioxide than it consumes. In fact that is almost required given real world typical efficiencies.

To be practical a cheap energy source is needed. Nuclear? Wind, wave, solar or geothermal electricity could do it but huge investment is required.
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