Fuels PDF Print E-mail

Ethanol - an alcohol distilled from biomass, emits substantial quantities of aceta-aldehyde, which can speed ozone formation. its production is currently economical only with heavy government subsidies, and because it is often made from grain, its widespread adoption could result in a competition between food and fuel. The global warming implications of ethanol use depend upon the fossil fuel intensity of the agricultural production process. In the U.S. total carbon dioxide emissions from ethanol production are estimated to be 63 percent less on an energy-unit basis that those from gasoline production and combustion.

Methanol - would yield some reductions in ozone formation, vehicles powered by this fuel produce two to five times more formaldehyde, a probable human carcinogen, as do those running on gasoline. And if methanol is made from coal, as it might well be if it were relied on in a substantial way, emissions of the primary greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide, would be 20-160 percent higher than from gasoline. In addition, methanol is a highly poisonous, colorless, odorless, and tasteless liquid that could contaminate groundwater in the event of leaking storage tanks and seriously harm someone if splashed during refueling. When ingested or absorbed through the skin, methanol is at least twice as toxic as gasoline.

Natural gas - offers reductions of from 40-60 percent for hydrocarbons and 50-95 percent for carbon monoxide, but an increase of 25 percent in nitrogen oxides. In addition, its use poses distribution and design problems and would reduce greenhouse emissions only marginally.

Hydrogen - We support hydrogen and electric vehicles.


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