A project is underway at the NJTPA to identify and analyze Transportation Clean Air Measures (TCAMs). One TCAM that is being analyzed is the potential for alternative fuel promotion in the region. Check out the TCAM webpage for more information.
What are alternative fuels? What are the benefits and challenges?
Alternative fuels are any type of fuel that is non-conventional or not a fossil fuel; usually “alternative fuels” refers to fuels that are renewable. There are many benefits and challenges to the production, distribution and use of alternative fuels.
- Decreased reliance on foreign oil
- Improved air quality (emission reductions), possible with some fuels
- Slowed climate change (reduced carbon emissions), possible with some fuels
- Reduced long term cost
- Lack of infrastructure
- Cost of infrastructure
- Changes required to vehicles to use alternative fuels
- Cost of fuel
- Perception of safety issues
Alternative Fuel Vehicles (AFVs) can run on the following fuels:
- Biodiesel is an alternative fuel produced from agriculture products such as corn or soybeans. This fuel can exist in pure form B100 or it can be blended into conventional diesel fuel to form B20 (20 percent biodiesel and 80 percent conventional diesel) or other blends.
- Natural gas is a mixture of hydrocarbons produced either by gas wells or in conjunction with crude oil production. Natural gas can be stored onboard a vehicle in either a compressed gaseous state (CNG) or in a liquefied state (LNG).
is a renewable fuel produced from corn, sugar cane, and other starchy agricultural products. Pure ethanol is rarely used as an automobile fuel; blends of ethanol are more common such as E85 (85% ethanol and 15% gasoline).
- Hydrogen is an element and the lightest fuel.
- Electricity can be used to power vehicles directly. Typically, this involves a battery that is recharged by plugging the vehicle into the power grid.
- Liquid Petroleum Gasoline
is comprised of 90% Propane, 5% propylene, and 5% other (usually butane and butylene). LPG is a byproduct of natural gas processes and petroleum refining.
Are alternative fuels available in the NJTPA region and surrounding areas?
The U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy website has an online search tool where you may find the nearest alternative fueling stations by fuel type and region.
Currently, NJ law requires that fuels sold in the State contain a blend of 10 percent ethanol. A variety of other blended fuels are in development and in commercial use nationally, including E-85 (a blend of 85% ethanol and 15% petroleum) and B-20 (a blend of 20 percent bio-diesel and 80 percent petroleum diesel.) Federal law requires that half of all filling stations provide alternative fuel pumps.