Issue Date: October 19, 2009
The Allure Of Methanol
G. H. Smith's letter makes the salient point that plans to utilize carbon dioxide for chemical production, such as the production of methanol, are unlikely to be based on extracting the parts-per-million concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere that cause climatologists so much consternation (C&EN, July 13, page 4). Finding a use for the surplus carbon dioxide that is removed at natural gas purification plants seems one logical place to obtain economically attractive CO2 concentrations in large volumes. Is not the twinning of ammonia and methanol production from natural-gas-derived syngas, in essence, another means by which to source low-cost CO2?
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