Methanol as cooking fuel

  • Category
    Science & Technology
  • Published
    20th Dec, 2018


The NITI Aayog has prepared a comprehensive plan advocating adoption of methanol as the preferred cooking fuel in households as well as commercially.



It is an alternative fuel for internal combustion and engines, either in combination with gasoline or directly. It is less expensive to produce sustainably and is a less expensive way to reduce the carbon footprint. Recently, methanol fuel has been produced using renewable energy and carbon dioxide as a feedstock.

What is it- It is also known as methyl alcohol, it is colourless, light, and flammable liquid.

How it is made- It can be manufactured industrially, derived from coal, oil or biomass, wood, bagasse, grass, or agricultural wastes.

What are its uses- Antifreeze, solvent, and fuel

  • Pure methanol has been used in open wheel auto racing since the mid-1960s

Benefits of methanol

As fuel

  • Cheaper to produce compared to other fuels, safer than others because of low flammability, and wide variety of food stock can be used to produce methanol.
  • Use of methanol fuel reduces the exhaust emissions of certain hydrocarbon-related toxins such as benzene and 1,3 butadiene, and dramatically reduces long term groundwater pollution caused by fuel spills. Unlike benzene-family fuels, methanol will rapidly and non-toxically biodegrade with no long-term harm to the environment as long as it is sufficiently diluted.

As cooking fuel

  • It estimates that even partial use of methanol could help reduce India’s import bill $100 billion and pollution 40%. 
  • In terms of heat value, a 14-kg LPG cylinder is equivalent to about 20 kg of methanol. But estimates show methanol is 30% cheaper and saving on an equivalent quantity of LPG is expected to be Rs 350.
  • In contrast to the present cooking fuel, which is used in liquefied gas form, the methanol fuel will come in vapour form. Unlike LPG, which can explode if it combusts, the methanol canister will burn without explosion and will be safer. 

India’s LPG consumption stands at nearly 2 million tonnes per month and has been growing consistently in the past 56 months on the back of the government’s push for increasing access to LPG through the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana. More than 70% of India’s demand is met through imports.


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