1988-10-01

The Department of Energy's Federal Methanol Fleet - A Progress Report 881629

The Federal Methanol Fleet Project, a demonstration authorized by the U.S. Congress in fiscal year 1985 and managed by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) for the Department of Energy, has operated methanol-fueled vehicles for nearly three years with a total of 20 methanol vehicles and 19 comparable gasoline vehicles now operating at three different sites. This paper summarizes the results and comparisons of the various fleet operations thus far. Over 700,000 miles (1 million kilometers) of operation have been accumulated. Methanol vehicle performance has been quite satisfactory with drivers rating them nearly as highly as the gasoline vehicles. The methanol fleet at Argonne National Laboratory has been specially equipped for cold-weather operation, and performance of the methanol vehicles in those circumstances has been very adequate. Data are presented showing that the drivers' ratings of the methanol vehicles at Argonne have only moderate dependence on ambient temperature. The fleet at ORNL is unique in that it uses vehicles with turbocharged engines and is the only fleet to operate with methanol made from coal.

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