Coal and steam powered the machines and factories that defined the industrial age of the 18th and 19th centuries. Petroleum powered the economies of the 20th century. In the 21st century the world will move beyond the Petroleum Economy. First we were told the future would be defined by the Hydrogen Economy; then we were told it would be a Carbohydrate Economy (bio-fuels); and then Nobel Laureate George Olah proposed the Methanol Economy.
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