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June 24, 2008



What a lot of people don't know is that meatonhl can be made fro natural gas.Is there anyone who does not know this, really? Short of changing one element to another, you cna make nearly any hydrocarbon from any other hydrocarbon. It is just a Question of Cost. A lot of natural gas is used to make fertilizer, among many other things.Yep, you can liquify natural gas, but you have to supercool it to do it. as Vange points out, it takes a lot of energy to do this, which means you use a lot of NG to make CNG, which raises the price.Methanol is CH3OH and Ethanol is C2H5OH and Butanol is C3H7OH. Same as Methane is CH4, Ethane is C2H6 and Butane is C3H8. When you burn them you convert the carbon to CO2 and the Hydrogen to H20. In either case, the longer the chain the more energy released.The lighter the molecule the higher the vapor pressure and the easier it is to create an explosive mixture with air. Methanol explodes easily and has an almost colorless flam when it burns, hence it is very dangerous as a fuel, which is one reason Indy cars no longer run on it.As far as I can tell, Vange is 100% correct in his critique. We can do damn near anything, the trick is to make it pay. But anything we do has cost trade offs, and sometimes those trade offs are in things that are not priced or not properly priced. Until we get a whole lot better at agreeing on what people own and how they should be valued, we are going to make a lot of suboptimal decisions.It is hard to figure why one producer is flaring gas becasue it is not worth delivering, when another porducer at the other end of the continent is drilling holes to get the stuff.

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