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Methanol


MiloMorai
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MiloMorai

From the USSBS

 

Methanol
The loss of methanol production dealt a further serious blow to the German war economy because methanol was needed to produce two of Germany's explosives: pentaerythritol-tetra
nitrate, and hexogen. An increasingly large percentage of her TNT production also depended on methanol. Plans for 1944 called for 42 per cent of the methanol production to be allocated to these uses, and the remainder went to the manufacture of synthetic rubber and numerous other important products.

 

Early in the war practically all the methanol production was concentrated in one plant, Leuna. During the war three additional plants were com pleted in Upper Silesia, but, of the 1944 planned production, 47 per cent was still to be at Leuña. Production reached a peak of 25,000 tons in January, 1944; a year later it was only 3,600 tons. Leuna, which had produced 13,000 tons in January, 1944, was completely knocked out. The bombing of Auschwitz and Heydebreck, which were thought to be producing synthetic oil, ac counted for most of the remaining loss of pro duction. As in the case of nitrogen, the Germans: had made the mistake of locating their methanol manufacturing facilities largely in oil plants.

 

There is evidence that the Germans did not need methanol as badly as they needed nitrogen or synthetic oil; hence the plants making it alone did not rate a high bombing priority. The large complex plants where it was manufactured, together with other products, should, however, have had the highest priority.

 

109 - Oil Division Final Report.pdf - Google Drive

Edited by MiloMorai
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[DBS]Browning

For use as an engine additive, methanol was not ideal for Germany, not just because it was needed for other applications, but also because it required some engine components to be made of alloys containing chrome, which was also in short supply, in order to prevent methanol-induced corrosion.

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