HC Deb 25 January 1990 vol 165 cc777-8W
Sir Trevor Skeet

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what is his assessment of whether there will be a market for methanol as a fuel for cars in the United Kingdom.

Mr. Atkins

[holding answer 23 January 1990]There is no natural market for methanol in the United Kingdom because of its high production costs and the lack of any manufacturing or distribution infrastructure. When substituted for petrol or diesel, methanol's attractive clean burning properties may be offset by problems such as:

  • the toxic effects of methanol itself;
  • relatively high tailpipe emissions of formaldehyde;
  • its low energy density;
  • its corrosive properties; and
  • its cold starting difficulties, unless conventional petrol is used as an additive.

These problems will need to be overcome before a significant market for methanol-fuelled vehicles is likely to develop.

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