George Olah, winner of the 1994 Nobel Prize in chemistry, discusses the Methanol Economy in an interview with the Technology Review
. Methanol, just like Hydrogen, is not a source of energy like gasoline but an energy carrier. But Methanol can be pumped pretty much just like we pump gas now, and can be mixed with gasoline or used in methanol fuel cells
. Methanol can be produced by converting natural gas
, in a new efficient way. A second, more fascinating approach consists of combining CO2 with water and electrically reducing it to methanol. The idea was conceived after inventing the methanol fuel cell, which produces CO2 and water. They found out they could actually reverse the process and produce methanol. This opens up the possibility for using CO2 from flue gases at power plants, or taken CO2 out of the air.
[Source: Technology Review]