Electricity alternatives for Israel.
Panelist Mr. Dankar spoke about the traditional sources of
energy used in Israeli power generation, noting, "We need a
cheaper product and a cleaner product ... There is a whole
range of viable alternatives, so why don't we use
Mr. Dankar expects methanol, compressed natural gas (CNG),
electric vehicles and biofuel
s to continue to
penetrate Israel's transportation fuel mix, with methanol
and CNG leading the way.
By 2030, nearly 50% of the traditional fuels used in
Israeli transport will be replaced with alternative fuels,
Mr. Dankar noted that, although methanol has met with some
resistance in the EU as an alternative fuel option, Israeli
test results of over 750,000 kilometers have shown no
significant differences between 15% methanol (M15) gasoline
and regular 85-octane gasoline. Slight improvements in emissions
were also observed
with the use of M15.
Flexible-fuel vehicles (FFVs), on the other hand, can
accommodate up to 85% methanol
and give significant emissions
experiment is set to commence in the near future with a
Chevrolet FFV to study the differences between the use of
high-methanol-content fuel and regular gasoline.
LNG vs. CNG for transport. Next, Dr.
Barnea discussed options for producing natural gas-based
fuels, including LNG, CNG, methanol, gas-to-liquids (GTL)
and dimethyl ether (DME). Chemically transformed fuels,
such as methanol, GTL and DME are more expensive than
physically transformed fuels, such as LNG and CNG.
However, chemically transformed fuels are logistically
superior to physically transformed fuels in that they are
either liquids at ambient temperatures, or they require
only moderate compression (i.e., DME). Also, chemically
transformed fuels require lesser or no modifications to
motor vehicles to ensure compatibility.
Dr. Barnea next compared CNG to LNG. While CNG is less
expensive to produce, the distribution and storage of this
fuel is more expensive than for LNG. CNG is also heavier
and takes up more volume than does LNG. A major downside
for LNG, by contrast, is that odorizing agents cannot be
added; therefore, methane detectors must be installed.
Dr. Barnea concluded that the optimal niche for LNG
transportation fuel is heavy-duty trucks, such as those
used in the US. The US is a good benchmark for the Israeli
market, he said, since both countries are developed
economies that enjoy relatively low natural gas prices. By
2020, Dr. Barnea expects 2,000 ships to be moving LNG
throughout the world as the LNG marketand the LNG
transportation fuel niche market, in
particularcontinues to grow.
The panelist also warned that work to establish LNG facilities
in Haifa and Ashdod,
Israel must begin immediately, as ships visiting these
harbors will no longer accept heavy fuel oil in the near
future. If Israel does not take initiative now to build LNG
infrastructure, Dr. Barnea said, "Israel will not have an
LNG industry by 2020."
To promote market penetration of natural gas-based
transportation fuels, fueling station networks, custom-made
vehicles, and gas-based fuels must be simultaneously
available. Government incentives, regulations and tax
advantages will be required; otherwise, the market will
develop too slowly and result in initial overcapacity, Dr.
Syngas-to-fuel on a small scale.
panel's final speaker, Mr. Gaziv from Primus Green Energy,
spoke about the company's STG+ syngas-to-gasoline technology
, which does not
require gas infrastructure modifications or vehicle
tailoring to accommodate Primus' GTL fuel. The STG+ technology
is a five-step
process that encompasses methanol
synthesis, gasoline synthesis, gasoline treatment and water
, which is presently
in the demonstration stage and will enter commercial
operation in 2016, is ideal for processing small, stranded
reserves of US natural gas that are usually flared. The
company is also looking to export modular units to Nigeria,
Russia and other countries.