Using alternative fuels isn't the only way to reduce transportation emissions. There are emissions reducing behaviors you can practice to help clean up our air too. Did you ever hear that it's better to keep your car running as opposed to turning it on and off when it's not in use? In this video, Norwich Clean Cities dispels that myth and explains the benefits of reducing idling time in your car.
The Energy Policy Act of 1992 defines alternative fuels as: hydrogen; electricity; pure biodiesel (B100); natural gas and liquid fuels domestically produced from natural gas; methanol and ethanol; blends of 85% or more of alcohol with gasoline; liquified petroleum gas(propane); and other fuels derived from biological materials. The following is a brief description of the major alternative fuels in use in our region:
A domestically produced, renewable fuel that can be manufactured from vegetable oils, animal fats, or recycled restaurant grease. Approximately 90% of biodiesel fuel in the U.S. comes from soybean oils. It is a cleaner burning drop-in fuel replacement for petroleum diesel. Biodiesel is an easy to use alternative fuel because it does not require any engine or vehicle modifications in order to be used. Biodiesel is most commonly available as a B20 (20% biodiesel, 80% regular diesel) or B100 (100% biodiesel) blend. Biodiesel can be used for all diesel fuel engines from passenger cards to class 8 trucks.
Can be used to power all-electric vehicles (EV) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV). These vehicles draw electricity from off-board electrical sources and store it in on-board batteries. PHEVs use electricity to improve fuel efficiency whereas EVs have no traditional fuel tank and therefore are the least polluting vehicle available in the world right now. Both light duty and heavy duty electric vehicles are now available in the marketplace.
Created through the process of purifying and then pressurizing natural gas to approximately 3,600 pounds per square inch. CNG is then stored onboard a vehicle in large cylinders. CNG can be utilized in both dedicated fuel and bi-fuel (gasoline/cng) vehicles. CNG is used as a fuel in vehicles ranging in size from passenger cars to municipal buses. CNG tends to be a less corrosive fuel and, therefore, reduces maintenance costs and increases the lifespan of an engine.
Created through cooling and condensing natural gas into a liquid. While still a fossil fuel, natural gas used as a fuel for vehicles burns cleaner when compared to traditional gasoline or diesel fuels. Furthermore, more than 85% of natural gas consumed in the United States comes from domestic sources. LNG is more energy dense than CNG and diesel fuel, and is used as a fuel primarily in long-haul, heavy-duty trucks. LNG is not allowed as a vehicle fuel source in New York City.
Is still very much an “in-development” alternative fuel. At present, hydrogen fueled vehicles are not allowed in any tunnels in and around New York City. However, the potential for hydrogen makes it a very attractive alternative fuel. 1 – Hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe. 2 – Hydrogen as a fuel source would practically eliminate a vehicle’s emissions. 3 – Hydrogen as a fuel source would, hypothetically, be two to three times more efficient than gasoline. Want to learn more about hydrogen as a fuel source? Click here to read about the latest developments in hydrogen.
Is a fuel made from corn and other plant materials. Ethanol is very widespread – practically all gasoline sold in the U.S. contains ethanol in a low-level blend. However, ethanol is also available in a high-level blend as E85 for use in flexible fuel vehicles.
Also known as propane. LPG is a cleaner burning fossil fuel and decreases exhaust emissions, particularly CO2. Worldwide, LPG is the third most popular vehicle fuel. LPG is non-toxic, non-corrosive, and free of additives. 90% of LPG consumed in the United States comes from domestic sources. Vehicles using LPG must be converted or special ordered.