[ RadSafe ] query

Robert Atkinson robert.atkinson at genetix.com
Thu Dec 14 02:56:24 CST 2006

One issue with methanol is safety related; it burns in air with an invisible flame. While this is not so much of an issue with blended fuels, it is for transportation and processing. It's also highly toxic. It was used for motor racing, there is film of drivers jumping out of their cars and running around because they were on fire but nobody realised. I've also seen footage of a road tanker taken from a helicopter, in colour there is nothing to see but on the infrared camera it's a raging inferno. The helicopter was directing fire-fighters and was able to warn them just before the tank blew up.
A lot of modern fuels do contain a small (<5%) amount of methanol as an additive.

-----Original Message-----
From: radsafe-bounces at radlab.nl [mailto:radsafe-bounces at radlab.nl] On Behalf Of Bernard L. Cohen
Sent: 13 December 2006 18:46
To: RadiatSafety
Subject: [ RadSafe ] query

    With all the discussion of ethanol from corn as a fuel, why is there 
no consideration of methanol which can be made from wood which is much 
more easily grown (and more cheaply available).than corn? All that is 
needed to convert wood into methanol is heat which could be obtained 
from nuclear reactors -- no very high temperatures required.


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