This study examined the feasibility of the widespread use of alternative fuels for transportation purposes in the United States. The emphasis in this examination with respect to alternative transportation fuels was on methanol, methanolgasoline mixtures, and liquid natural gas. Feasibility was assessed within the context of environmental concerns and associated government regulations that are driving technology to meet demands related to air pollution control that may be able to be met though the use of alternative fuels for transportation purposes.
A heavy dependence on foreign sources for transportation fuels continues to characterize an important component of the supply side of the American energy equation. Further, American reliance on foreign sources for transportation fuels is expected to continue to increase as long as crude oil remains the dominant source of transportation fuels in the United States. Additionally, environmental concerns are expected to be manifested in future demands for a curtailment of the use of crude oil based transportation fuels. The successful introduction of the use of alternative fuels for transportation purposes, however, is likely to be heavily dependent up consumer acceptance. Thus, such factors as the cost of use of an alternative fuel and the characteristics of such fuel with
respect to the operational performance of vehicles in comparison to crude oilbased fuels were important considerations in this examination.
Battery stored electrical energy, synthetic fuel derived from coal, methanol, methanolgasoline mixtures, and liquid natural gas (LNG) are potential nearterm substitutes for crude oilbased transportation fuels. Of these alternative energy sources for transportation fuels, methanol, methanolgasoline mixtures, and LNG appear to hold the greatest nearterm potential within the contexts of both environmental concerns and consumer acceptance.
The primary purpose of thi...