Main problem with methanol is it's corrosiveness, it is pretty tough on fuel lines, aluminum, plastics, anything rubber...
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The good things are very high octane, so you can run very high compression ratios and/or turbocharger boost, like in Champ Car racing engines. Methanol is most commonly made from natural gas (Methane, hence the name), so it is usually cheaper to make than ethanol.
While it used to be "wood alcohol", modern manufacturing is different. One reason for E85 and not pure ethanol is that 15 percent gasoline is needed to make it toxic, so that people wont drink it and it doesnt have to be taxed as drinking alcohol. All alcohols have an affinity for water, and that is the main cause for the corrosion problem. Proper selection of fuel system materials is vital. If you are talking about someone converting an existing gasoline car, you have a problem. If the discussion is about a factory-built alternative fuel car, no real problem.
1: Methanol has a stoichiometric air/fuel ratio of 7 to 1 and so gives less than 50% the fuel mileage of gasoline.
2: Methanol is hard to light off - we used to squirt gas in the injectors of my dad's nascar modified to start it up.
3: used to be that methanol required neoprene hoses because of rubber deterioration.
4: methanol has fewer BTU/lb heat content and all horsepower increases were due to high compression (13-1 to 15-1 in our case)and increased spark advance. So it will give less horsepower on a stock engine.
4: Methanol burns with a blue flame that is almost invisible so is actually more dangerous. H2O is the way to put it out.
5: Used to be made by charring wood and collecting and condensing the vapors. Don't know what modern method it is made by.
6: Most likely it is not going to be available in large enough quantity to be affordable.
Actually, Ethanol has Toluene added to denature it. At least that much.
I believe at the plant, the MSDS and lab test sheet we get before unloading the tanker states 5 gallons Toluene per 200 gallons of Ethanol.
Methanol is quite poisionous and judging from the supply boats that docked around the boat I worked on, it ain't no joke to deal with. Knowing the dolts who like to keep cellphones and cancer sticks (cigaretes ) nearby, that's a Darwin Award waiting to take you along for the ride.
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