Since the September 11 tragedies, much thought has been devoted to how to extricate the U.S. from the morass of the Middle East, terrorism and endless troop commitments. One long stride could be made, say politicians and pundits alike, is if only the U.S. could walk away from its dependence on oil.
Now, the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security is proposing a relatively simple, efficient and economical way to do so.
In its Web site launched this week, IAGS offers a revolutionary scientific method to quickly wean the U.S. and the world from Middle East oil.
Though much research has been carried out toward transitioning the American motor fleet from the oil-based combustion engine to hydrogen-powered fuel cells,now, IAGS is advancing a faster, cheaper and more efficient method to fuel vehicles by using methanol–a hydrogen carrying liquid with physical characteristics similar to gasoline.
“Our plan is based on readily available technologies certified by the Department of Energy,” says Dr. Gal Luft, founder and co-director of IAGS.
“If fully implemented, we won’t have to buy one drop of Middle East oil for use in automotive transportation within the decade.”
IAGS promotes using methanol as a carrier fuel for hydrogen, thereby simplifying the process of transporting and distributing fuel via existing gas stations, pumps and tanks. What’s new here? That unlike in moving to pure hydrogen use which would take years, switching to fuel cell vehicles powered by hydrogen packaged as methanol would make the transition away from oil not only much more rapid, but also cheaper to the tune of billions.
Fitting an existing gas station to supply hydrogen in a methanol formulation costs less than $70,000, as compared to the $1.5 million cost of installing a hydrogen station. Instead of waiting for years to implement pure-hydrogen powered fuel cell vehicles, from a fuel supply standpoint this could happen almost immediately. Based in Washington and San Francisco, IAGS describes the side-benefits of moving away from oil to a made-in-the-USA fuel: economic stimulus and environmental improvement.
“Moving beyond oil could be our best economic stimulus,” says the Web site.
“Every industrial and technological revolution in history inspired an economic boom and this one would be no exception. Building an infrastructure for mass production of next-generation cars and fuels would generate millions of jobs and revitalize the automobile industry as well as other related industries.”
Press Release Issued on January 24, 2003