Methanol alcohol does not get the publicity of its ethanol counterpart, but many see methanol gas as just as viable an alternate fuel option for the future. Methanol fuel and methanol injection systems are actively researched as replacements for oil-based gasoline. If your business involves alternate fuel research or even racing cars, methanol can be your path into the future.
Methanol is every bit as flammable and hazardous as gasoline, so any type of methanol purchase must be made and handled with extreme care. Since it is also not a widespread fuel source, your biggest task will be finding where to buy methanol. But there are other questions as well:
1. How much methanol do you need?
2. Where and how will methanol be transported and stored?
3. Do you need pure ethanol or a form that has been refined into methanol fuel?
Buy small test batch quantities of methanolFor small projects involving methanol, use methanol suppliers that sell it by the liter or gallon. Smaller quantities are easier and safer to transport. Storing it in gas cans or other safe containers stays within fire code regulations.
Buy methanol in bulk quantitiesMost companies needing methanol for refining or other projects need to buy in bulk quantities. When buying by the drum, you are handling a large quantity of a hazardous material. Because of this, buyers must often show credentials to prove they can be trusted with it.
Purchase biodiesel methanol fuelIf you need methanol for cars, meaning methanol that's already refined into fuel, you won't find any national wholesale distributors. Methanol fuel, which is a type of biodiesel, is sold primarily by small, independent biodiesel retailers.
United States Department of Energy and the National Biodiesel Board provide locations of methanol/biodiesel retailers across the country, allowing you to find a retailer near you.
- Get clean, unused gas cans to store methanol if you're buying it by the gallon. Clearly label the cans so everyone will know what they contain. You should handle methanol with the same care and precautions as normal gasoline.
- Look for gas antifreeze (not engine antifreeze) for your methanol source if all you need is a liter or less. Some of these products are almost entirely methanol. Make sure it is made of methanol and not another type like isopropyl.