email twitterlinkedin
Image 1
Task 7


Comparison of Relative Environmental Impacts of Alternative and Conventional Fuels


Assimilate results of present and past studies of envirom-nental impact of fuels and determine the extent to which the studies clarify the relative air quality beneflts of various altemative and conventional fuels. Identify gaps in technology where further work is needed to clarify the impacts.

The altemative and conventional fuels considered are:

Alternative motor fuels

  • Methanol
  • Ethanol
  • Natural Gas
  • Propane
  • Electricity and Hybrids

Conventional motor fuels

  • Gasoline
  • Reformulated gasoline
  • Diesel fuel
  • Reformulated diesel fuel

The work includes reviews of studies in folloving ares, along vith interviews of experts:

  • Emissions
  • Atmospherie health effects of air pollutants
  • Urban air quality models
  • Health effects of air pollutants
  • Acidification and overfertilization
  • Greenhouse effects of transportation emissions

A final report, titled “Comparison of Relative Environmental Impacts of Alternative and Conventional Fuels,” was issued in 1995. This was issued as a paperback book of 148 pages. An ISBN number of 0-9649935-0-3 was issued for the report. The report is available in very limited numbers now.

Generally, the report found that the gaseous alternative fuels and nonfossil-based electricity were the most beneficial to the environment. However, that conclusion was not without caveats. For example, while natural gas as a motor fuel is potentially beneficial in NOx emissions, it also leads to increased methane emissions, which is a concern with regard to the greenhouse effect.


  • Belgium
  • Canada
  • Finland
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Netherlands
  • Sweden
  • USA