Is Methanol & Methane The Same? - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 01-12-2009, 05:34 AM Thread Starter
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Question Is Methanol & Methane The Same?

I'm a drill rig tech....er...I was a drill rig tech. Some of the drill rigs I've commissioned were @ landfills where the company purchasing the rig would be drilling for methane gas. Although methane gas from a landfill has a cryptic stench(well, for those who don't know---smells like the worst fart EVER!), it's used to power entire cities. I guess what my question is, is methanol & methane the same thing? & if they are, can methane be used as an alternative fuel in a diesel engine?

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post #2 of 6 Old 01-12-2009, 07:22 AM
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Definately different. Methane (CH4) = basically natural gas. Methanol (CH3OH) = wood alcohol.

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post #3 of 6 Old 01-12-2009, 08:28 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Davey~do View Post
Definately different. Methane (CH4) = basically natural gas. Methanol (CH3OH) = wood alcohol.
Proving once again you learn something new everyday! But since diesels can supplement off natural gas, can they use methane?

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post #4 of 6 Old 01-12-2009, 10:24 AM
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According to Union Gas, the composition of natural gas is as follows:

Component Typical Analysis
(mole %) Range (mole %)

Methane
94.9 Range 87.0 - 96.0

Ethane
2.5 Range 1.8 - 5.1

Propane
0.2 Range 0.1 - 1.5

iso - Butane
0.03 Range 0.01 - 0.3

normal - Butane
0.03 Range 0.01 - 0.3

iso - Pentane
0.01 Range trace - 0.14

normal - Pentane
0.01 Range trace - 0.04

Hexanes plus
0.01 Range trace - 0.06

Nitrogen
1.6 Range 1.3 - 5.6

Carbon Dioxide
0.7 Range 0.1 - 1.0

Oxygen
0.02 Range 0.01 - 0.1

Hydrogen
trace Range trace - 0.02


Specific Gravity 0.585
0.57 - 0.62

Gross Heating Value (MJ/m3), dry basis *
37.8 Range 36.0 - 40.2

There are more trace elements than I thought there would be. However, the ratio trace elements to methane is pretty low so I would hazard a guess that it wouldnt be a problem. I am no chemical engineer though so I certainly wouldnt claim to know for certain either way.

I am assuming you are talking about filling canisters of methane off of the compressed stream at a landfill plant. That would certainly be cheap supply, I'm just not certain how well it would work out in the long run.

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post #5 of 6 Old 01-12-2009, 10:27 AM
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Just found this as well Landfill Gas "LFG"

So if you are talking about the refined stream off of a methane plant at a landfill that would be one thing. This "LFG" looks like a BIG no-no!

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post #6 of 6 Old 01-12-2009, 10:40 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Davey~do View Post
Just found this as well Landfill Gas "LFG"

So if you are talking about the refined stream off of a methane plant at a landfill that would be one thing. This "LFG" looks like a BIG no-no!
Well thanks, Davey! You sure you're not a chemical engineer? This is THE most educated & detailed response I've ever gotten for a question. Thanks for the link as well. It taught me more stuff than I could've imagined!

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