Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 63408
Development of Alternative Fuels Technologies for Transportation

Authors: Szymon Kuczynski, Krystian Liszka, Mariusz Laciak, Andrii Oliinyk, Adam Szurlej

Abstract:

Currently, in automotive transport to power vehicles, almost exclusively hydrocarbon based fuels are used. Due to increase of hydrocarbon fuels consumption, quality parameters are tightend for clean environment. At the same time efforts are undertaken for development of alternative fuels. The reasons why looking for alternative fuels for petroleum and diesel are: to increase vehicle efficiency and to reduce the environmental impact, reduction of greenhouse gases emissions and savings in consumption of limited oil resources. Significant progress was performed on development of alternative fuels such as methanol, ethanol, natural gas (CNG / LNG), LPG, dimethyl ether (DME) and biodiesel. In addition, biggest vehicle manufacturers work on fuel cell vehicles and its introduction to the market. Alcohols such as methanol and ethanol create the perfect fuel for spark-ignition engines. Their advantages are high-value antiknock which determines their application as additive (10%) to unleaded petrol and relative purity of produced exhaust gasses. Ethanol is produced in distillation process of plant products, which value as a food can be irrational. Ethanol production can be costly also for the entire economy of the country, because it requires a large complex distillation plants, large amounts of biomass and finally a significant amount of fuel to sustain the process. At the same time, the fermentation process of plants releases into the atmosphere large quantities of carbon dioxide. Natural gas cannot be directly converted into liquid fuels, although such arrangements have been proposed in the literature. Going through stage of intermediates is inevitable yet. Most popular one is conversion to methanol, which can be processed further to dimethyl ether (DME) or olefin (ethylene and propylene) for the petrochemical sector. Methanol uses natural gas as a raw material, however, requires expensive and advanced production processes. In relation to pollution emissions, the optimal vehicle fuel is LPG which is used in many countries as an engine fuel. Production of LPG is inextricably linked with production and processing of oil and gas, and which represents a small percentage. Its potential as an alternative for traditional fuels is therefore proportionately reduced. Excellent engine fuel may be biogas, however, follows to the same limitations as ethanol - the same production process is used and raw materials. Most essential fuel in the campaign of environment protection against pollution is natural gas. Natural gas as fuel may be either compressed (CNG) or liquefied (LNG). Natural gas can also be used for hydrogen production in steam reforming. Hydrogen can be used as a basic starting material for the chemical industry, an important raw material in the refinery processes, as well as a fuel vehicle transportation. Natural gas can be used as CNG which represents an excellent compromise between the availability of the technology that is proven and relatively cheap to use in many areas of the automotive industry. Natural gas can also be seen as an important bridge to other alternative sources of energy derived from fuel and harmless to the environment. For these reasons CNG as a fuel stimulates considerable interest in the worldwide.

Keywords: alternative fuels, CNG (compressed natural gas), NGVs (natural gas vehicles), LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas)

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