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COALITION NAME. Name. Contact Information. Date. Alternative Fuels Overview. U.S. Energy Consumption. Source: Annual Energy Outlook 2009 . Energy Information Administration. U.S. Petroleum Trends. Source: Annual Energy Outlook 2009 . Energy Information Administration.

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Coalition name



Contact Information


Alternative Fuels Overview

U s energy consumption

U.S. Energy Consumption

Source: Annual Energy Outlook 2009. Energy Information Administration.

U s petroleum trends

U.S. Petroleum Trends

Source: Annual Energy Outlook 2009. Energy Information Administration.

U s petroleum trends1

U.S. Petroleum Trends

Source: Annual Energy Outlook 2009. Energy Information Administration.

U s petroleum trends2

U.S. Petroleum Trends

Source: Annual Energy Outlook 2009. Energy Information Administration.

Petroleum displacement strategies

Replace petroleum with alternative fuels and low-level blends.

Reduce by promoting energy efficiency in vehicles through advanced technologies and more fuel efficient vehicles.

Eliminate by promoting idle reduction, greater use of mass transit, trip elimination, and other congestion mitigation approaches.

Petroleum Displacement Strategies




Clean cities alternative fuels portfolio

Clean Cities Alternative Fuels Portfolio

Blended Fuels

  • Biodiesel/diesel blends (B2, B5)

  • Ethanol/gasoline blends (E10)

  • Hydrogen/natural gas blends (HCNG)

Alternative Fuels

  • Biodiesel (B100, B20)

  • Electricity

  • Ethanol (E85)

  • Hydrogen

  • Methanol

  • Natural gas

  • Propane

  • P-Series

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Biodiesel Properties

  • Produced from renewable sources such as new and used vegetable oils and animal fats.

  • Physical properties are similar to petroleum diesel.

  • Higher flashpoint makes it safer to handle, store, and transport.

Biodiesel considerations

Biodiesel Considerations

  • Nontoxic and biodegradable

  • Reduction of unburned hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide and particulate matter

  • Greenhouse gas and air quality benefits

  • More lubricity than petroleum diesel

  • Positive energy balance

  • Cold weather starting and storage issues

  • 8% less energy per gallon than petroleum diesel

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Biodiesel Use

  • B20 is the most common blend in U.S.

  • Used in all unmodified diesel engines.

  • Has similar payload capacity, range, horsepower, and torque as diesel.

  • Used to fuel compression-ignition (diesel) engines.

  • Promises rural and urban microeconomic benefits.

Biodiesel Truck

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Electricity Properties

  • An electric vehicle (EV) stores electricity in an energy storage device.

  • Electric motor powers wheels.

  • Must be replenished by plugging into an electrical source or using an onboard charger.

  • Electricity can be generated by (or produced from) coal, natural gas, nuclear, wind, and other renewables.

Electricity considerations

Electricity Considerations

  • No tailpipe emissions

  • Range of 50-130 miles

  • Fueling costs reasonable compared with gasoline, especially off-peak rates

  • Electricity costs vary depending on location, type of generation, and time of use

  • Vehicles with DC electric systems = 0.4 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per mile

  • Vehicles with AC systems = 0.174 to 0.288 kWh per mile

  • Energy storage capacity limited

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Electricity Use

  • Two types: EVs and HEVs, both use batteries.

  • Hybrids use an electric motor or a combination of a gasoline engine and electric motor.

  • Electricity sources for battery recharging include electrical outlet, gasoline engine onboard vehicle, regenerative braking.

  • Hybrids use batteries to store electricity produced by regenerative braking and the onboard generator.

Hybrid Electric Vehicle

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Ethanol Properties

  • Clear, colorless liquid

  • Alcohol-based fuel produced from starch crops or cellulosic biomass

  • Corn is primary feedstock

  • High-octane fuel

  • As an alternative fuel, most commonly used as E85 (85% ethanol, 15% gasoline)

Ethanol considerations

Ethanol Considerations

  • Biofuels could replace 30% or more of U.S. gasoline demand by 2030.

  • Corn-based ethanol production and use reduces GHG emissions by up to 52% compared with gasoline (cellulosic by 86%).

  • Refueling infrastructure not in place in all areas.

  • There is a high level of fuel pricing volatility.

  • Corn-based ethanol has 27%-36% less energy content than gasoline.

  • Ethanol industry creates jobs and helps the economy.

Ethanol considerations1

Ethanol Considerations

  • Production of corn-based ethanol has grown sharply since the early 1980s.

  • Corn-based ethanol is approaching “blend wall” of 15 billion gallons.

  • Less than 10% of the U.S. field corn crop is used in corn-based foods.

  • Despite the wider use of U.S. agricultural feedstocks for renewable fuels, USDA estimates only a modest increase in household food costs.

  • As a result of the RFS-2, annual wholesale U.S. food costs are estimated to increase by $7.

Ethanol considerations2

Ethanol Considerations

  • Ethanol has a positive energy balance.

  • Corn yield is a critical part of the net energy balance estimation.

  • Ethanol production facilities include both dry- and wet-milling operations.

  • Energy ratio is 1.57 for wet-milling, 1.77 for dry-milling.

  • The weighted average energy ratio is 1.67.

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Ethanol Use

  • Nearly half of U.S. gasoline contains ethanol as E10.

  • E85 is used in light-duty flexible fuel vehicles (FFVs).

  • FFVs can use 100% unleaded gasoline or any ethanol blend.

  • FFVs have a 25% reduction in ozone-forming emissions compared with gasoline.

  • FFV power, acceleration, payload, and cruising speed are comparable whether running on ethanol or gasoline.

  • Consumer interest in converting existing gasoline vehicles to operate on ethanol.

Flexible Fuel Vehicle

Ethanol use

Ethanol Use

Source: Alternative Fuels and Advanced Vehicles Data Center

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Hydrogen Properties

  • Hydrogen exists in water, hydrocarbons (such as methane), and organic matter.

  • The energy in 2.2 lb of hydrogen gas is about the same as the energy in 1 gallon of gasoline.

  • Steam reforming of methane (natural gas) accounts for about 95% of the hydrogen produced in the U.S.

  • ~9 million tons of hydrogen is produced in the U.S. each year.

  • Most is used for refining petroleum, treating metals, producing fertilizer, and processing foods.

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Hydrogen Considerations

  • Pure hydrogen contains no carbon thus burns to form water with no CO2 or CO emissions.

  • Fuel-cell vehicle’s have the potential to be 2 to 3 times more efficient than gasoline vehicles.

  • Fuel cells use a direct electrochemical reaction to produce electricity on board the vehicle.

  • A light-duty vehicle must store 11-29 lbs. of hydrogen to drive about 300 miles.

Hydrogen use

Hydrogen Use

  • Currently used in modified internal combustion engines.

  • Honda FCX is the only commercially-available vehicle.

  • Several OEMs have pre-production light-duty vehicles in demonstration projects.

  • Hydrogen can be blended with natural gas to create a fuel for natural gas vehicles.

Hydrogen Fuel-Cell Vehicle

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Natural Gas Properties

  • Mixture of hydrocarbons, predominantly methane (CH4)

  • High octane rating

  • Nontoxic, noncorrosive, and noncarcinogenic

  • Not a threat to soil, surface water, or groundwater

  • Compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquefied natural gas (LNG)

  • Lower ozone-forming emissions then gasoline

  • From gas and oil wells

Natural gas considerations

Natural Gas Considerations

  • Natural gas (NG) is a domestically available, clean-burning fuel.

  • Additional safety modification for facilities is required by NEC and NFPA.

  • NG vehicles cost more because of tank configuration.

  • A CNG-powered vehicle gets about the same fuel economy as a gasoline vehicle.

  • To store more energy in a smaller volume, natural gas can be liquefied (LNG).

  • LNG occupies only 1/600 the volume of natural gas (vapor) form.

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Natural Gas Use

  • There are two types of natural gas vehicles: bifuel and dedicated.

  • There is widespread natural gas distribution and refueling infrastructure.

  • CNG refueling stations are either slow-fill or fast-fill.

  • CNG can be used in light-, medium-, and heavy-duty vehicles.

  • LNG fuel systems are used with heavy-duty vehicles and locomotives.

CNG Vehicle

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Propane Properties

  • By-product of natural gas processing and crude oil refining

  • Known as liquefied petroleum gas (LPG)

  • High octane

  • 33%-41% less energy content per gallon than gasoline

  • 60% reduction in ozone-forming emissions compared with gasoline

Propane considerations

Propane Considerations

  • Nontoxic and no threat to soil, surface water, or groundwater

  • High energy density = good driving range

  • Stored onboard a vehicle in a tank pressurized to around 300 psi

  • Range vs. payload reduction issue caused by larger fuel tanks

  • A gallon of propane about 25% less energy than a gallon of gasoline

  • Liquid Propane Injection engines—higher fuel efficiency

  • Widespread infrastructure

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Propane Use

  • Propane is the most used alternative transportation fuel in the U.S. and the world.

  • Used in light- and medium-duty vehicles, heavy-duty trucks, and buses.

  • Many propane vehicles are converted gasoline vehicles.

  • Popular choice for nonroad vehicles such as forklifts and agricultural and construction vehicles.

Propane Bus

Alternative fuel prices

Alternative Fuel Prices

Source: Clean Cities Alternative Fuels Price Report, April 2009

Alternative fuel prices1

Alternative Fuel Prices

Source: Clean Cities Alternative Fuels Price Report, April 2009

Consumption of alternative fuels

Consumption of Alternative Fuels

Clean cities contact information

Clean Cities Contact Information

  • Clean Cities Web site


  • Alternative Fuels & Advanced Vehicles Data Center Web site


  • Clean Cities Coordinator Contact Information and Coalition Web sites


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