The government has asked the think-tank NITI Aayog to study the automobile standards developed in China to use methanol as an alternative fuel. Experts believe that Methanol economy will help India use its vast reserves of coal while driving import substitution.
Methanol is a promising fuel for waterways as it is clean, cheaper than fossil fuels and a good substitute for heavy fuels. India imports methanol from Saudi Arabia and Iran at present. Across the world, methanol is emerging as a clean, sustainable transportation fuel of the future. Methanol can be blended with gasoline in low-quantities and used in existing road vehicles, or it can be used in high-proportion blends such as M85-M100 in flex-fuel or dedicated methanol-fueled vehicles. Technology is also being commercialized to use methanol as a diesel substitute.
Methanol is a clean-burning fuel that produces fewer smog-causing emissions — such as sulphur oxides (SOx), nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate matter — and can improve air quality and related human health issues.
Methanol is most commonly produced on a commercial scale from natural gas. It can also be produced from renewable sources such as biomass and recycled carbon dioxide.
As a high-octane vehicle fuel, methanol offers excellent acceleration and power. It also improves vehicle efficiency.