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Alternative Fuels Data Center: Alternative Fuels and Advanced Vehicles

Several emerging fuels are considered alternative fuels under the Energy Policy Act and may be under development or already developed and available in the United States. Natural gas is a domestically abundant fuel that can have significant cost advantages over gasoline and diesel fuels. So, for example, instead of simply heating up some soup, like low-pressure natural gas is capable of doing quite well, liquefied natural gas can power large equipment, like a truck. And that’s just what it’s used for — powering heavy-duty trucks over long distances. Despite these concerns, ethanol offers a lot of benefits as an alternative fuel, and the network of ethanol fueling stations continues to increase. In fact, a lot of biodiesel enthusiasts make their own fuel using cooking oil from local restaurants.

Alternative Fuel

Using a two-stage system involving a thermophilic liquefaction reactor and a mesophilic anaerobic filter, over 95% volatile solids were converted to methane at a volumetric loading rate of 5.65 VS/l. Adjustment of cement kilns for cocombustion of sludge does not require building an additional combustion chamber. Therefore, it can be supplied to the furnace by means of the equipment used for the transport of conventional fuels. CNG vehicles have low pollutant emissions and have therefore rapidly gained ground in urban fleets of buses, utility trucks and taxis. Shore-side electricity use by ships berthed at ports has been recommended where air quality or noise limits are exceeded. Electric trains do not need to carry any internal combustion engine or large batteries, which makes them an ideal option, considering their excellent power-to-weight ratio.

Alternative Fuel and Electric Vehicles

Hydrogen cars aren’t widespread largely because there isn’t the necessary infrastructure of hydrogen fueling stations. But our next alternative fuel is somewhat easier to find — in fact, you’re using some right now. The Department of Energy’s Vehicle Cost Calculator Use this calculator to compare alternative fuel vehicles with their gasoline-only counterparts. Read this list of Frequently Asked Questions from the DOE’s Energy Information Administration (EIA) for information on alternative fuels and vehicles.

  • Cars like the Tesla Roadster use them to get supercar performance from their electric motors.
  • Higher blends may require minor adaptations of power trains, and corresponding fuel standards need to be developed.
  • By reducing the amount of greenhouse gases released, co-firing affects the reduction of global warming and the reduction of the potential for acidification of the environment (Garg et al., 2007).
  • So, rather than running strictly off of battery power alone, a hydrogen-powered car uses a fuel cell to generate its own electricity.
  • The level of investment needed over 30 years to pay for refueling infrastructure and other support systems (e.g., garages that are trained to repair the vehicles) and the incremental costs of fuel cell vehicles over this time both are likely to be quite large.

Hydrogen (H2) is a renewable, domestically-produced, alternative fuel that can be used to create electricity. A chemical reaction between oxygen and hydrogen produces the electric power, and when the transportation fuel is pure hydrogen, the only resulting emission is water vapor. Depending on the energy source that causes the chemical reaction, hydrogen can be an emission-free transportation fuel. Not widely used today, current government and industry research and development are investigating safe and economical hydrogen production and hydrogen vehicles.

Transportation Fuel Alternatives for Highway Vehicles

Consumer acceptance of biofuels has been hampered by the lack of coordinated action across Member States when introducing new fuel blends, the lack of common technical specifications, and the lack of information on the compatibility of new fuels with vehicles. In theory, electricity from nuclear reactors could also be used for propulsion in space, but this has yet to be demonstrated in a space flight. Some smaller reactors, such as the TOPAZ nuclear reactor, are built to minimize moving parts and use methods that convert nuclear energy to electricity more directly, making them useful for space missions, but this electricity has historically been used for other purposes. Power from nuclear fission has been used in a number of spacecraft, all of them uncrewed.

Is diesel an alternative fuel?

Although light-, medium-, and heavy-duty diesel vehicles are not technically alternative fuel vehicles, almost all are capable of running on biodiesel blends.

High-level petrol-ethanol blend containing 85 % ethanol (E85) is used in only a few Member States in flexible fuel vehicles (FFVs) that can also use lower blends. If the goal is to reduce U.S. petroleum consumption over the next decade or two, battery-powered electric vehicles may play a role, but the size of that role depends, as it has in the past, on advances in battery technology. Fuel-cell vehicles must overcome larger engineering problems, including hydrogen storage and development of a safe hydrogen-delivery infrastructure, before they are ready for any widespread commercial deployment. However, with new battery technology, some automakers are overcoming these limitations. The new batteries (lithium-ion batteries, to be exact) are the same kind that power your cell phone or laptop.

Unlocking the Power of Photosynthesis for Clean Energy Production

The cost, availability, and facilities and equipment requirements also must be considered, as well as the political acceptability. Both short- and long-term aspects would be included in the lifecycle analysis of a proposed system, and decision makers should consider all aspects in making fuel selections. GE Aerospace engineers are rising to this challenge with a global hydrogen team already in place and growing. Efforts to design a new hydrogen combustor engine will draw from GE’s more than 8 million hours of operating experience with hydrogen combustion already today with land-based gas turbines.

Alternative Fuel

During the Second World War, Belgium (then a victim of an embargo on diesel) even decided to power its buses with liquid ammonia. In the 1960s, ammonia was also considered for use in alternative engines, especially for military purposes. Ammonia was used as a propellant for some rocket planes in the 1950s and 1960s in a series of suborbital missions. Compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquefied natural gas (LNG) are two cleaner combustible alternatives to conventional liquid automobile fuels. On top of this production subsidy rests a tax credit for blenders who add biodiesel to petroleum diesel. The blenders receive a credit against the federal excise tax they pay of approximately $1.00 per gallon for vegetable oil-based diesel and 50 cents per gallon for yellow grease.

Alternative Fuels

This study analyzes how international climate regimes affect cost-efficiency of fuel choices in the transportation sector. The analysis is carried out with a regionalized version of the Global Energy Transition model, GET-R 6.0. Two different carbon dioxide (CO2) reduction scenarios are applied, both meeting an atmospheric CO2 concentration target of 450 ppm by the year 2100. Choosing the right source for your power depends on many factors, the primary of which is what your intended usage will be. Finding the right fuel type for your specific purposes will help to maximize efficiency while cutting down on negative environmental impacts.

Propane autogas is generated at the well alongside other natural gas and oil products. It is also a by-product of the refining processes which further increase the supply of Propane to the market. Propane delivers an octane rating between 104 and 112[56] depending on the composition of the butane/propane ratios of the mixture. If e85 becomes popular, production must be scaled up, which may raise the cost as demand rises.

Alternative fuels for zero-emission vehicles

However, some question arises as to the socioeconomic effects of a substantially lowered growth rate of energy consumption. Lack of fuelling infrastructure and common technical specifications on refuelling equipment and safety regulations for bunkering hamper market uptake. LNG in shipping, on the other hand, could be economically viable, with current EU prices lower than for heavy fuel oil and low sulfur marine gasoil, and prospects of increasing use  in future. Biofuels in the transport sector are consumed in France, Germany, Sweden, Spain, Italy, and the UK, with a large gap between their consumption and that of the rest of the Member States. In the near future, biofuels will have to stand on their own without the large subsidies they are now enjoying, if only to protect the U.S. At the very least, the corn-ethanol subsidy should be phased out, as well as the import restrictions.

What is the best alternative to gasoline?

Ethanol is the most widely available source of gasoline substitute, and reduces greenhouse gas emissions. Ethanol can also be made from landfill gases and municipal solid waste, as well as agricultural waste, animal manures, food wastes, fats, oils and greases.

Temperature and weather changes are projected to reduce Indiana corn yields by up to 20 percent by 2050, which will reduce the amount of corn available for biofuels. However, crops may be grown in a larger part of the country as the number of frost days decreases. Biodiesel is a clean-burning alternative fuel, produced from domestic, renewable resources. It is biodegradable, nontoxic, and almost free of sulfur and aromatic pollutants. Pure biodiesel does not contain petroleum, but it can be mixed with petroleum diesel. Processing of waste in the cocombustion process in cement kilns does not require an additional source of heat.

Landmark Technologies

This handbook answers basic questions about plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) and charging equipment. This information will help you determine if your organization should offer workplace charging for employees. Bouallagui et al. (2005) reviewed the potential of anaerobic digestion for material recovery and energy production from fruit and vegetable wastes (FVW) containing 8–18% total solids (TS), with a total volatile solids (VS) content of 86–92%. The organic fraction includes about 75% easy biodegradable matter (sugars and hemicellulose), 9% cellulose and 5% lignin. Anaerobic digestion of FVW was studied under different operating conditions using different types of bioreactors. It permits the conversion of 70–95% of organic matter to methane, with a volumetric organic loading rate (OLR) of 1–6.8 g versatile solids (VS)/l day.

This site is a comprehensive clearinghouse of data, publications, tools, and information related to advanced transportation technologies. The AFDC holds more than 3,000 documents, interactive tools that help fleets and consumers make transportation decisions, and a wealth of information to educate the public on alternative fuels and advanced vehicles. The AFDC focuses not only on alternative fuels, but all advanced transportation fuels, vehicles, and technologies. Biodiesel is a clean burning, renewable alternative fuel that can be produced from a wide range of vegetable oils and animal fats. Biodiesel contains no petroleum, but can be blended at any level with petroleum diesel to create a biodiesel blend. It can be used in compression-ignition (diesel) engines with little or no modifications.

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