Natural gas prices are very low and projected to stay there. Methanol is made from gas and looks to be very cheap and likely to stay that way. And the politics may push that dirrection too; politicians from gas-producing states are raising the issue, which leads me to believe there is far more behind-closed-door activity:
Apparently there are bill before Congress to require an "open fuel" standard by 2017.
Certainly methanol has it's weaknesses; I don't wish to flog that horse. But does it have weaknesses in the marine environment beyond those of ethanol?
Water tolerance is one, and perhaps a major reason MTBE was used in place of methanol years ago. However, i seem that used in combination with ethanol, that problem may not be too serious:
There is also good information here:
Enleanment may be the most fomidable problem, specifically for older engines. But I expect som ematerials compatibility issues as well.
Is it possible that we will be seeing methanol mixed with ethanol and gasoline, since we seem unlikely to be able to fulfill the EPA regulatory mandate with ethanol production alone?