Reasoning for Alternative Fuels Essay Paper

Reasoning for Alternative Fuels

All other things being equal, the energy source with the lowest cost will always be pursued after in the cargo transportation world. The supremacy of petroleum-derived from fuels is an outcome of the comparative ease with which they can be stored and competently used for the internal combustion engine vehicle. Other types of fossil fuels (propane, natural gas and methanol) can be used as transportation fuels in the cargo business but need a more storage system that is complicated. The main subject regarding the large-scale utilization of these alternative vehicle fuels is the large capital savings necessitate in delivery amenities as compared with conservative fuels. Another concern is that in conditions of energy denseness, these alternative fuels efficiency is much lower than gasoline and therefore need greater capacity of on-board storage to shelter the corresponding distance as a gasoline vehicle that is propelled. Alternative fuels in the cargo arena that are in the form of non-crude oil reserves are pulling substantial courtesy as a consequence of decreasing oil reserves, raising petroleum price and the want to decrease emissions of damaging contaminants. With that said, in the essay, the researcher will reflect the advances in alternate fuels, its effect on the different modes of cargo transportation and developments in the making to be tested.

What is alternative fuel?

According to Christine & Scott Gable (2008) it is not diesel, kerosene or gasoline. To define alternative is an adjective that denotes a choice among two or more things. And fuel is a material expended to create power or energy. To conglomerate them together the definition of alternative fuel is the selection of any fuel other than the customary choices, diesel and gasoline.

Advances in Alternate Fuels

Alternative transport fuels for cargo transportation can produce an imperative advantage to countries as they have the ability to decrease vehicle emissions, progress air quality, supply alternative sources of source to balance typical fuels and diminish dependence on introduced fuel.


Biogas like methanol, ethanol, and biodiesel can be created from the fermentation of food crops (cereals, sugar cane, corn,, ) or what is called wood-waste. Their manufacture though necessitates large reaping areas that possibly will compete with other kinds of land use. Besides, it is projected that one hectare of wheat makes less than 1,000 liters of transportation fuel per year which signifies the quantity of fuel expended by one passenger car wandering 9,000 kilometers per year. This constraint is connected to the volume of plants to soak up solar energy and convert it in the course of photosynthesis. This short efficiency of the biomass does not encounter the energy requirements of the transportation segment. In 2007, the U.S. government planned to decrease oil feasting by 20% by means of ethanol. As the U.S. is at present manufacturing 26 billion liters of ethanol each year, this goal will necessitate the construction of approximately 115 billion liters of ethanol by 2017 which quantities to the entire yearly U.S. maize construction. Besides, the manufacture of ethanol is an energy- rigorous procedure. The manufacture of 1 thermal unit of ethanol necessitates the burning of 0.76 unit of coal, petroleum or natural gas. Biodiesel can also be obtained from a variety of crops. The selection of biomass fuel in the cargo business will mainly be contingent on the sustainability and energy effectiveness of the procedure of production.


In the cargo business, hydrogen is seen as the energy source of the future for advancement. The phases in expending hydrogen as a transportation fuel involve in: 1) manufacturing hydrogen by electrolysis of water or by removing it from hydrocarbons; 2) condensing or converting hydrogen into liquid form; 3) keeping it stored on-board a vehicle; and 4) expending fuel cell to create electricity on demand from the hydrogen to make sure that it can propel a motor vehicle. Hydrogen fuel cells are twice as more effectual than gasoline and make near-zero pollutants. But hydrogen suffers from several problems. A lot of energy is wasted in the production, relocation and putting away of hydrogen. Hydrogen manufacturing requires electricity creation. Hydrogen-powered vehicles require 2-4 times more energy for process than an electric car which does not make them cost- applicable.


This is in the cargo industry is being contemplated as an alternative to petroleum gasses as an power basis. A clean battery electric vehicle is considered a more well-organized alternative to hydrogen fuel propelled vehicle because you do not need to change energy into electricity since the electricity that is stored in the battery can control the electric motor. Moreover an all electric car is much easier and inexpensive to create than a similar fuel-cell truck. The chief obstacles to the expansion of electric cars are the lack of storing systems proficient of delivering driving assortments and speed equivalent to those of conservative vehicles. The low energy volume of batteries makes the electric car not that much competitive than internal combustion engines that are using gasoline. Nevertheless, as technology advances, cost effective batteries will become obtainable.

Hybrid vehicles

These, containing of what is called a propulsion system using an interior burning engine complemented by an electric motor and batteries, which provides chances joining the competence of electricity with the long powerful collection of an interior combustion engine. A hybrid vehicle in the cargo business would still utilize liquid fuel as the chief source of energy but the engine delivers the power to drive the vehicle or is used to make sure that the batter is charged via a generator. On the other hand, the propulsion can be offered by the electricity produced by the battery. When the battery is cleared, the engine jumps involuntarily without any help from the driver. The generator can also be fed by using the braking energy to recharge the battery. Such a propulsion design greatly contributes to overall fuel efficiency. Given the unavoidable oil exhaustion, the fruitful expansion and commercialization of hybrid vehicles seems on the medium term the most maintainable selection to conventional gasoline engine motorized vehicles.

Diesel Trucks and Fuel Advancement

Diesel vehicles may be making a revival. Diesel engines have a little more power and fuel- effectual than comparable -sized gasoline engines (about 30-35% more fuel effective). In addition to, today’s diesel vehicles are much enhanced over diesels from long ago. With that said, in the past, diesel engines were thought to be noisy, smelly things suited only for industrial applications, but advances in technology have minimized these drawbacks. Much of the appeal of diesels comes from their fuel economy, which is typically better than that of their gasoline-powered equivalents. Sheer power can also be impressive, because lots of torque is available at low rpm, which makes diesel power preferred for towing. In general, diesels combine excellent low-speed tractability with fuel-efficient cruising. However, the latest advancement for Diesel trucks is Biodiesel. Biodiesel (fatty acid alkyl esters) is a cleaner-burning diesel replacement fuel made from natural, renewable sources such as new and used vegetable oils and animal fats. Just like petroleum diesel, biodiesel operates in combustion-ignition engines. Biodiesel can be used in nearly all diesel equipment and are compatible with most storage and distribution equipment. These don’t require any engine modifications and can provide the same payload capacity and range as diesel. Why Biodiesel for diesel trucks? Diesel fuel particulate can cause cancer. Using biodiesel fuel, or blending it with regular diesel fuel, can reduce the production of these cancer-causing emissions.

The Aerospace industry and Fuel Advancement

Precision Combustion is creating numerous technologies for aerospace requests when it comes to fuel advancement. These technologies, which are funded by NASA, U.S. Air Force and others, deliver high worth in a dense and lightweight bundle.

For aerospace fuel cell systems, PCI is in the process of developing ultra-lightweight fuel improvers and fuel computers for solid oxide and high temperature PEM fuel cell tons. These ultra-compact fuel reformers and fuel processors are effective in the cargo business because they allow fuel cells to function on obtainable fuels like the Jet-A, JP-5 and JP-8. PCI is also creating extreme – compressed and lightweight anode gas oxidizers for those that are fuel cell systems.

For aerospace cabin environmental systems, PCI’s oxidation, adsorption and chemical response technologies are being advanced into commodities for a diversity of purposes. PCI’s ultra-lightweight Trace Contaminant Control catalytic oxidizer for VOCs was established for the International Space Station and has been functioned for over 16,000 hours at NASA Marshall Space Flight Center. PCI is also in the process of acquiring compacted regenerable adsorption technologies to soak up the CO2, water vapor and plus other compounds that are in closed air places for the ISS and future missions to the moon and mars.

Maritime Transportation: The Undergoing Changes

Since 2009, the price of fuel has increased significantly as well as its instability. This has cause some undergoing changes in the transportation industry. Most of the modes are being affected, from the owner of the individual car to the corporation operating a navy of hundreds of ships and aircraft. The costs that are higher are being delivered on to the customer, either straightforwardly, as is the situation of shipping where freight fees are rising, or circuitously as is the circumstance of airlines, where travelers are being charged extra fuel surcharges. These charge increases are likely to have major impacts on movement and trade, including on the modal split.

Some more changes are taking place because higher transport prices are increasing the transportation of distance and restrain movement. What most do not realize is that the major customer of petroleum the transport industry has to raise the rates. Across the board increases are causing people to reconsider their designs of development and companies to regulate their source and circulation chains. One of the predictable effects of these increase of cost is a decay in passenger carriers and freight shipments, such as airlines are expecting a discount in trips. Even school districts are forestalling decreasing the number of busses and making children walk a more distant to school.

For the reason that the impression of higher fuel costs hits the modes a little different, a modal shift is expected. Air transport and road are more fuel concentrated than the other methods, and so fuel price rises are likely to influence upon them more harshly than other modes. This change can move to a shift that is toward water and rail transports specifically.

An additional influence of fuel price upsurges is better fuel economy throughout the modes. One of the changes realized in transportation is that one of the best ways for all modes to decrease ingesting is to reduce speeds. A future of high energy prices is probable to have a major influence on just-in-time releases, and lead to a reorganizing of supply chains.

Rise in Cost

Cargo business fuel prices have gone up considerably in recent years experts say that it will go up even higher in the near future. Between 2003 and 2008 the average U.S. fuel retail prices almost tripled, from $1.77 to $4.10 per gallon, and these high prices are predicted to last due to growing international request and rising cost of production (Jackson 2007).

Fuel prices are an issue that is emotional. Even at lower prices many motorists feel they pay more than is fair. There are recurrent requests for investigations into fuel price extracting, and popular campaigns to promote cheaper fuel through polies that are public and consumer boycotts. Therefore, consumer groups, consumers and policy makers are trying to figure out how best to give an answer to fuel prices on the rise

Policies that attempt to decrease fuel prices through sponsorships and tax decreases normally only give modest consumer savings (a few cents per gallon or liter). This is since bigger decreases are so expensive (the grants needed to counterbalance current oil price upsurges would ruin most governments). Furthermore, the producers usually just take a portion of the savings through profit margins that are advanced rather than passing savings on as decrease of cost. It is obvious that the fuel prices in the cargo industry will go up even higher in the future. Many in the cargo business are familiar to low fuel prices and often request price minimization rules. But such policies execute important financial, social and ecological costs, by demanding sponsorships and intensifying total fuel depletion, vehicle travel and land use dispersal. This enlarges the economic costs of bringing in petroleum, pollution emissions, congestion, road and parking facility costs, sprawl and accidents. Instead of trying to lessen fuel prices it is better to just permit prices to go up and help consumers, businesses and communities decrease total fuel costs by raising vehicle and transport system effectiveness. These answers deliver far larger complete benefits.

Environmental Impacts

Environmental impacts contain reduction of non-renewable resources (DNRR) like the petroleum; noise and water and air pollution emissions; and impacts of land use (“Resource Costs,” Littman 2007a). Intensified vehicle fuel efficiency reduces resource depletion and pollution emissions but not the amount of land paved for transport facilities or the impacts of sprawl. Changes to alternative fuels have different forms of environmental impacts, but it depends on fuel type and how they are produced. For instance, ethanol manufactured from corn offers almost no discount in change of climate emissions, and makes the water pollution increase and farm pollution emissions (GSI 2007). The environmental influences of hydrogen and electric fuels really depend on their energy cause (if produced by coal, environmental benefits are negligible or destructive). Creating fuel from coal gasification and oil sands is globally damaging. Decreases in total vehicle travel deliver the highest total benefits as well as energy conservation; air, water and noise pollution reductions; and decreased desire to lay concrete on land for parking facilities and roads.

Hydrogen may be a life saver when it comes to help protecting the environment in the cargo industry. As mentioned earlier Hydrogen gas is at the moment being produced at a net energy loss from the natural gas, which is also undergoing a decline in production in North America and other places. When hydrogen is not produced from gas, it still needs another source of energy to make it, also at a loss throughout the procedure. This has brought it to a place where hydrogen is being considered as a ‘transporter ‘of energy, like electricity, rather than a ‘source’. The undocumented dehydrogenating procedure has also been recommended for the use of water as a source of energy.

Another motive why Hydrogen should be our eco-fuel in the cargo business is because of environmental interests, which now has intensified to include strategic issues in handling with oil. For one, it rushes out soon and will lead to more problems as like it has in Middle Eastern countries. The quarrel has become more political than it has environmental. The cold-heartedness of 9/11 made that perfectly clear for everyone in the cargo business. Fuel in the Cargo world has now become a problem of national security. Many in the cargo industry believe that they need to relieve themselves of that burden. The only way that the U.S. can protect itself from further necessity to a vanishing fuel source is to grow an alternate energy source that is readily obtainable nationally. The options are: natural gas, coal, water, wind, solar, nuclear and hydrogen. Out of these hydrogen is the cost the most to create for the source of fuel, but it keeps energy stored more efficiently than batteries, burns twice as successfully in fuel cell as gasoline does in out current engines and leaves just the water behind. It’s abundant, clean, and completely proficient of powering vehicles in the cargo industry.


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