2The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) defines an alternative fuel as a product that is substantially nonpetroleum which yields energy security and environmental benefits.
3The Energy Policy Act of 1993 (EPAct) DOE currently recognizes the following as alternative fuels: Mixtures containing 85% or more by volume of alcohol fuel, including methanol and denatured ethanol
4Natural gas (compressed or liquefied) Liquefied petroleum gas (propane)HydrogenCoal-derived liquid fuels
5Fuels derived from biological materials Electricity (including electricity from solar energy)100% Biodiesel (B100)
6Pure biodiesel (B100) is considered. an alternative fuel under EPAct Pure biodiesel (B100) is considered an alternative fuel under EPAct. But lower-level biodiesel blends are not considered alternative fuels
7What are the characteristics of alternative fuels?
10EthanolEthanol is an alcohol-based alternative fuel produced by fermenting and distilling starch crops that have been converted into simple sugars. Feedstocks for this fuel include corn, barley, and wheat.
11Ethanol can also be produced from "cellulosic biomass" such as trees and grasses and is called bioethanol. Ethanol is most commonly used to increase octane and improve the emissions quality of gasoline.
12Natural GasNatural gas is a mixture of hydrocarbons, mainly methane, and is produced either from gas wells or in conjunction with crude oil production. Natural gas is consumed in the residential, commercial, industrial, and utility markets.Natural gas can either be stored onboard a vehicle as compressed natural gas (CNG) or as liquefied natural gas (LNG). Natural gas can also be blended with hydrogen.
13Natural GasThe future holds great potential for natural gas because it can potentially be used in fuel cell vehicles to make hydrogen.Researchers found that fuel cell vehicles using hydrogen produced from natural gas could present an attractive solution for cutting greenhouse gas emissions.
14PropanePropane or liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) is a popular alternative fuel choice for vehicles. Propane is produced as a by-product of natural gas processing and petroleum refining so there is already an infrastructure of pipelines, processing facilities, and storage for its efficient distribution.
15HydrogenThe simplest and lightest fuel is hydrogen gas. Hydrogen may contain low levels of carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide, depending on the source.
16HydrogenHydrogen can be produced using diverse, domestic resources including fossil fuels, such as natural gas and coal, nuclear; and biomass and other renewable energy technologies, such as wind, solar, geothermal, and hydro-electric power.
17HydrogenHydrogen will play an important role in developing sustainable transportation in the United States, because in the future it may be produced in virtually unlimited quantities using renewable resources.
18HydrogenHydrogen is being explored for use in combustion engines and fuel cell electric vehicles. The energy density of hydrogen is very low under ambient conditions which presents greater transportation and storage hurdles than for liquid fuels. Storage systems are being developed to address these problems.
19HCNGDOE's Natural Gas Vehicle Technology is supporting a project to develop heavy-duty HCNG engines and transit buses. The HCNG (20% hydrogen / 80% CNG) engines demonstrated lower emissions than similar engines fueled by CNG alone. This blend provided no significant change in fuel efficiency.
20Trucks with a hybrid-electric powertrain combine a diesel engine and electric motor to drive the vehicle.Electricity
21ElectricityBatteries capture and store energy providing a source of stored electric power for the motor during future acceleration.
22All electrical charging of the battery is provided by the hybrid electric powertrain, and no external electrical infrastructure, such as a power cord or electrical outlet, is needed.Electricity
23ElectricityThe balance between conventional and electric technology is an innovative method to improve environmental performance and decrease fuel use while eliminating the need for high electrical-demand infrastructure costs.
24Methanol is produced from natural gas in production plants with 60% total energy efficiency. Methanol can be made with any renewable resource containing carbon such as seaweed, waste wood and garbage.Methanol
25Methanol offers the greatest hope for early and broad introduction of fuel cells that will make Electric Vehicles practical within the next few years.Methanol
26Whether reformed to provide hydrogen for conventional fuel cells or used directly in the latest liquid fed cells, methanol will overcome the greatest remaining obstacle to commercialization, by offering the only economical way to transport and store the hydrogen needed for fuel cells.Methanol
27Methanol fuel cells will greatly reduce carbon dioxide emissions for vehicles and virtually eliminate smog and particulate pollution.Methanol
28BiodieselBiodiesel contains no petroleum, but it 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.
29BiodieselBiodiesel can be used as a pure fuel or blended with petroleum in any percentage. B20 (a blend of 20 percent by volume biodiesel with 80 percent by volume petroleum diesel) has demonstrated significant environmental benefits.
30BiodieselBiodiesel is registered as a fuel and fuel additive with the EPA and meets clean diesel standards established by the California Air Resources Board (CARB). Neat (100 percent) biodiesel has been designated as an alternative fuel by the Department of Energy (DOE) and the US Department of Transportation (DOT).
31BiodieselThe National Biodiesel Board has released the following sales volume estimates for the US:million gallons million gallons million gallons million gallons million gallons million gallons ,000 gallons
33How to convert gases to gallons for tax calculations?
34Will taxing model have to be modified in the future?
35For example, EPA says B100 is alternative fuel, but a blend is not. Difference in definitions?For example, EPA says B100 is alternative fuel, but a blend is not.
36How to measure electricity, solar power, and wind power?
37OPTIONSUse Department of Energy’s Gasoline Gallon Equivalent.
38A gasoline gallon equivalent (GGE) is the amount of fuel required to equal the energy content of one liquid gallon of gasoline. A GGE is a way of comparing equivalent volumes of fuel based on the energy content in British thermal units (Btu).