The industrial sector uses natural gas as a fuel for process heating, in combined heat and power systems, and as a raw material feedstock to produce chemicals, fertilizer, and hydrogen. The electric power sector uses natural gas to generate electricity.
Download citation Most experts look to alternative fuels and technologies as promising complements to petroleum in the near term and likely substitutes in the long term. Currently, 98 percent of the U. The reasons for this dominance are simple.
Transportation fuels derived from petroleum pack a lot of energy in Alternative uses to gasoline small volume and weight. The internal combustion engine ICE found in practically every vehicle is compact, powerful, and well suited to transportation applications.
And until recently, petroleum has been a bargain, at least in the United States. If alternative energy sources are to compete effectively with petroleum, they must be price competitive, perform well with existing ICE technology, or be packaged with a new motor entirely, probably an electric one.
Assessing the Tradeoffs The extent to which alternative fuels can reduce U. Penetration in turn depends on the cost of delivered alternatives in relation to gasoline and diesel, the degree to which these alternatives are viewed as viable substitutes by consumers, the availability of vehicles designed to utilize the fuels, and the necessary fuel distribution infrastructure.
The extent to which alternative fuels can reduce U.
The advantages enjoyed by petroleum divide the potential competitors into two camps-liquid biofuels ethanol and biodiesel that can be used in ICEs and other energy sources, such as hydrogen and electricity, that require new motor technologies.
In the case of hydrogen, a radically new delivery infrastructure is also needed. In the near-to-medium term, biofuels are poised to be competitive. In the longer term, hydrogen and electricity offer the technical potential to completely wean the United States from petroleum use.
Biofuels Over the Next Years Biofuels seem well positioned to penetrate the transportation market. Ethanol can be produced from corn, sugar, and fibrous plants, such as switchgrass. Currently, 10 percent ethanol is blended with gasoline to make e10, in large part as a substitute for MBTE once added to gasoline for environmental purposes.
These "flexfuel" vehicles are currently being produced by U. However, the relatively small quantity of ethanol produced is predominately used in e10 blends. If e85 becomes popular, production must be scaled up, which may raise the cost as demand rises.
Further, ethanol has about 70 percent of the energy content of gasoline, which equates to fewer miles per gallon. The Renewable Fuels Association lists ethanol refineries currently operating in the United States, with an additional 43 refineries and seven expansions under construction.
Outside the United States, ethanol has been made for many years from sugar; in Brazil, for example, ethanol from sugar accounts for about 20 percent of the transport fuel market. Unfortunately, imports of ethanol from Brazil face high tariffs, a 2. Reducing or eliminating these tariffs might expand ethanol supply to the United States, thereby lowering cost and accelerating the penetration of this fuel into the U.
The use of a low-cost and readily available feedstock has led many to believe that cellulosic ethanol could be very price competitive with gasoline in the future after the production technology has evolved somewhat further.
Honda Motor Company recently reported successes using strains of microorganisms developed in Japan to more efficiently convert the sugar in cellulose into alcohol. And unlike corn, biomass for cellulosic conversion need not consume prime agricultural land and, as a result, may be grown in larger quantities.
The Department of Energy forecasts total ethanol production from corn and cellulose to be billion gallons annually by While this would amount to 30 percent of worldwide ethanol production, it is still less than 10 percent of projected U.
The president's Advanced Energy Initiative, announced in his State of the Union speech, will increase research funding for cellulosic ethanol, with the goal of making it cost-competitive with corn-based ethanol by Production of biodiesel made from recycled cooking oil called yellow grease or raw vegetable oils from crops such as soybeans was developed as early as the invention of the diesel engine in Like ethanol production, biodiesel enjoys government subsidies that make it price competitive with petroleum.
In comparison, EIA estimated the cost of diesel from petroleum to be 78 cents a gallon. On top of this production subsidy rests a tax credit for blenders who add biodiesel to petroleum diesel.
These subsidies and tax credits bring the production cost of biodiesel very close to that of petroleum-based diesel. Biofuels not only substitute for petroleum but they also can have beneficial impacts on climate change. Ethanol and biodiesel are produced within a relatively closed carbon cycle where carbon dioxide CO2 released into the atmosphere during combustion is recaptured by the plant material and used to produce additional fuels.
To the extent these biofuels displace petroleum, they reduce CO2 emissions and therefore are more climate-friendly than petroleum.Gasoline (American English) or petrol (British English) is a transparent petroleum-derived liquid that is used primarily as a fuel in spark-ignited internal combustion engines.
Carless registered a number of alternative names for the product, but "petrol" nonetheless became the common term for the fuel in the British Commonwealth. Although natural gas is a proven, reliable alternative fuel that has long been used to power natural gas vehicles, only about two-tenths of 1% is used for transportation fuel.
The vast majority of natural gas in the United States is considered a fossil fuel because it is made from sources formed over millions of years by the action of heat and pressure on organic materials.
Gasoline is the dominant transportation fuel in the United States, followed by distillate fuels (mostly diesel fuel) and jet fuel.
Gasoline includes aviation gasoline and motor gasoline. Motor gasoline includes petroleum gasoline and fuel ethanol added to petroleum gasoline. 10 Reasons to Use Alternative Fuels & The Future of Automobiles Alternative fuels for automobiles are currently a topic of growing interest and importance.
On the basis of October data, there are approximately 34 million flexible fuel vehicles and the sale of hybrid electric vehicles numbered more than 9 million (September data). The transportation sector uses natural gas as a fuel to operate compressors that move natural gas through pipelines and as a vehicle fuel in the form of compressed natural gas and liquefied natural gas.
Nearly all vehicles that use natural gas as a fuel are in government and private vehicle fleets. Nov 14, · If gasoline is too volatile to use, but chemical processes continue to evolve, I'm sure that gasoline will be refined into heavier fuels in the same way that, in .