Standard Article

Methanol from fossil and renewable resources

Fuel Cell Technology and Applications

Sustainable energy supply

  1. R. Edinger1,
  2. G. Isenberg1,
  3. B. Höhlein2

Published Online: 15 DEC 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470974001.f301003

Handbook of Fuel Cells

Handbook of Fuel Cells

How to Cite

Edinger, R., Isenberg, G. and Höhlein, B. 2010. Methanol from fossil and renewable resources. Handbook of Fuel Cells. .

Author Information

  1. 1

    DaimlerChrysler AG, Ulm, Germany

  2. 2

    Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH, Jülich, Germany

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 DEC 2010


Today, methanol is primarily used for the purposes of the chemical industry. Methanol as an energy carrier and fuel option could enlarge our energy sources for future mobility. Since methanol can be derived from both fossil and renewable resources, it has the option of allowing an economically viable transition to CO2-reduced mobility. Methanol from wastes, residues, and biomass could support the fuel market for industrialized and developing nations. For fuel cell vehicle applications, methanol constitutes a liquid fuel that can be conveniently stored under atmospheric conditions. For internal combustion and hybrid vehicle propulsion, blending methanol to conventional fuels promises higher fuel quality and, when produced from renewable resources, significantly lower carbon dioxide emissions in the well-to-wheel context. For providing future-oriented transport and mobility, a fuel source shift from fossil to renewable resources is necessary to achieve global atmospheric protection goals as suggested by the United Nations and the European Union.


  • alternative fuels;
  • methanol;
  • methanol production;
  • greenhouse gas emissions;
  • fossil energy;
  • renewable energy;
  • energy supply;
  • costs