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Details are here-in

Details of the many aspects of the Plan, along with both supporting and detracting information are presented on this site.

The Plan is a real solution. It will make few people in power happy, but it has the ingredients to save us and the world. By the way, we must see that we teach the rest of the world to do this.

Link back to: IER Transportation Plan

Link to: Initiatives

Executive Summary of the IER Transportation Plan

This is a multi-decade plan, with many steps. But every new step builds on the previous one, there is no waste and no overlap. The infrastructure needed to get to the ultimate goal can and must be started immediately. We are fortunate to have an abundant supply of fossil natural gas with which to do this. Facing both the oil price jumps, possible shortages, and the greenhouse gas buildup, we must first proceed to build vehicles that run on methanol and ethanol made from fossil natural gas, and the infrastructure to support them. This technology, without change, will enable these vehicles to also run on methanol and ethanol made from mixtures of fossil natural gas and biogas (or pure biogas). Biogas is, of course, renewable. All these steps can be made using the Internal Combustion Engines (ICE) whose technology we understand, and have used for over a 100 years. Henry Ford recommended using ethanol in his Model-T's. Business interests, not engineering knowledge,over the years have made oil dominant. Brazil broke free of this noose, and uses ethanol to a large extent. Thus all the knowledge and the technology exists for us to start putting in place a transportation system running on methanol and ethanol, that is on a path leading us to a very clean and sustainable future. Methanol made from natural gas is a much cleaner fuel than gasoline, and when it is made from biogas it is exceptionally clean. We present relevant data here from the California Air Resources Board (CARB). Although more research and development is necessary to generate biogas most efficiently, making methanol from natural gas is a mature process. More distant will be various fuel cells and reforming techniques which will use methanol, and get even greater efficiencies than possible using an internal combustion engine (ICE). The paths are pretty clear, although the timelines are not. However, we have enough natural gas to make methanol for 5-10 decades, more than enough to deploy all of the needed technology. We discuss developments in these technologies in this Website.

The key pieces of the infrastructure are vehicles designed to run on methanol (we can and should start using methanol in Internal Combustion Engines (ICE), pumping stations that can deliver methanol (which are very similar to those that today deliver ethanol). We need to put, so called 'blender' pumping stations in place over the course of a decade. They can deliver gasoline or mixtures methanol/ethanol and gsoline or the pure alcohols. Furthermore, we completely understand how to manufacture vehicles that can run well on methanol/ethanol. This existing technology -- is, of course, available today - worldwide. Like all technology it will improve each year, just like a laptop/cellphone does. But just like your laptop, is able to be delivered today. In the early stages of the program, we will expect to have citizens use a lot of gasoline, but since methanol will be the cheaper fuel, as soon as the dispensers are installed, a natural shift will occur.

Right at the beginning, as we initiate this Plan, we must not drop the ball on the key development of the infrastructure that can create renewable natural gas, or biogas from our wastes to supply the methanol plants. Of course biogas is renewable and fossil natural gas will eventually run out, but equally important for Global Warming it can be carbon neutral! As we build out the methanol factories, initially using fossil natural gas, we must simultaneously build the plants to create biogas, through anaerobic digestion of municipal, industrial and farm wastes, and to and develop the infrastructure to bring this biogas to to the methanol plants. It is important to promote the use of 'renewable' methanol for both light and heavy duty vehicles. Renewable methane, or biogas, is natural gas made from bacterial digestion of wastes in the absence of oxygen. The process is called anaerobic digestion, and takes 30 days or less. The process of anaerobic digestion produces methane (the main component of natural gas) from municipal, industrial and farm wastes. We envision an ever increasing proportion of this renewable natural gas mixed in with fossil natural gas, to be used for all energy needs (transportation, electricity generation, home heating and other societal needs), but it would be especially useful to get us off of foreign oil if its production is aimed towards making methanol for transportation fuel needs. As noted it will result in very low, and sometimes negative well-to-wheel CO2 emissions. Of course, burning methanol in an internal combustion engine also results in much lower NOx, CO, particulates and NMOG's (especially benzene). As we fill out the biogas infrastructure, we will get a better understanding of just how much of our energy needs can be met from anaerobically digesting our wastes. When we get our first assessments, we need to already have built up the infrastructure for fast growing plants and algae. It has been estimated that algae could provide all the biogas needed for making methanol for transportation, by covering an area the size of the California and Arizona deserts.

Alternative Transportation Fuels