Alternative fuels are vehicle fuels that are not made from petroleum. There are many kinds of fuels that vehicles can run on that aren't made from petroleum. Since many alternative fuels are also renewable - and can be produced here in the U.S.-they could reduce our dependence on foreign oil and that in turn strengthens the economy.
The use of alternative fuels greatly reduces harmful exhaust emissions - carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide and particulate matter. Cleaner air equals healthy people!
Biodiesel is a fuel that can be made from vegetable oils, recycled cooking oils from fast food restaurants, and certain animal fats, such as fish oil or beef tallow. Biodiesel can be used in any diesel engine in place of diesel fuel. No engine modification is necessary because diesel engines were originally designed to run on a variety of fuels.
Ethanol is a clear, colorless liquid. As a diluted solution, it has a somewhat sweet flavor, but in more concentrated solutions it has a burning taste.
E-10 - A combination of 90% gasoline and 10% ethanol.
E-85 - A blend of 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline.
Hydrogen is being used to power fuel cell vehicles. When combined with oxygen in a fuel cell, hydrogen generates electricity used by the vehicle's clean electric motor to create a smooth, quiet ride - and the only emission from the tailpipe is water vapor. Hydrogen is not toxic, poisonous or corrosive. It doesn't harm the environment or public health.
Compressed natural gas is a natural gas under pressure that remains clear, odorless, and non-corrosive. An odorant is normally added to CNG for safety reasons. CNG vehicles generate fewer exhaust and greenhouse gas emissions than their gasoline or diesel-powered counterparts. It is possible for CNG vehicle owners to refuel their cars at home by installing small compressors connected directly to the home's natural gas supply.
LPG, otherwise known as Propane, is produced as part of natural gas processing and crude oil refining. Use of propane can result in lower vehicle maintenance costs, lower emissions, and fuel cost savings when compared to conventional gasoline and diesel.
Electric vehicles (EVs) are cars that run on electricity stored in batteries. EVs are often confused with hybrid electric vehicles which combine an internal combustion engine with a battery. EVs are truly zero-emission cars because they have no tailpipe exhaust and no evaporative emissions from fuel systems.