In Broward County, our population is growing steadily each year. We have more cars on the road than ever before, and therefore more air pollution sources. Emissions from the cars and trucks on our roads - mostly hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxides, and carbon monoxide - account for about 50 percent of all air pollution.
Today's cars emit mixtures of compounds that lead to the formation of ground-level ozone, which is produced by a chemical reaction between sunlight and air pollutants. When conditions are just right, such as when the temperature is hot enough and the sun is strong, ground-level ozone is formed, also known as smog.
Alternative fuels such as Compressed Natural Gas (CNG), methanol, ethanol, liquified petroleum gas and biodiesel produce fewer tail pipe emissions than conventional gasoline and diesel fuel, while improving the air we breathe.
Why Switch to Alternative Fuels
Alternative fuels have a number of inherent properties that make them cleaner than conventional gasoline. In general, these fuels emit fewer hydrocarbons, so they are producing less smog. Emissions from electricity, natural gas, or alcohol-powered vehicles can be as much as 90 percent lower in ozone-forming hydrocarbons than emissions from vehicles fueled with conventional gasoline.
The use of alternative fuels could also help slow atmospheric buildup of carbon dioxide, a "greenhouse gas" that contributes to the potential for global warming. These cleaner fuels also have benefits that reach beyond their air quality advantages. New fuels in the marketplace give consumers new choices and could decrease our dependence on imported oil.
Some alternative fuels are not available for the general public, but private and public fleets are currently using them.
Pollution From An "Average" Passenger Car And Light Truck
Pounds of pollution per year, including both tailpipe and fuel-cycle emissions, assuming 12,500 miles per year for a passenger car and 14,000 miles per year for a light truck
Average Gasoline-Fueled Car
Carbon Dioxide (CO2) 10,000 lbs.Carbon Monoxide (CO) 606 lbs. Hydrocarbons (HC) 80 lbs. Nitrogen Oxides (NOx) 41 lbs.
Average Gasoline-Fueled Light Truck
Carbon Dioxide (CO2) 16,800 lbs. Carbon Monoxide (CO) 894 lbs. Hydrocarbons (HC) 114 lbs. Nitrogen Oxides (NOx) 59 lbs.
Commercially available medium and heavy duty natural gas engines have demonstrated the following reductions relative to commercial diesel engines:
- over 90% reductions of carbon monoxide and particulate matter
- more than 50%reduction in nitrogen oxides
Emission reductions will vary with engine design. The following numbers reflect the potential reductions offered by a biodiesel blend (B20) and pure biodiesel (B100), relative to conventional diesel.
- Reductions in carbon monoxide emissions of 10% (B20) and 50% (B100).
- Reductions in particulate emissions of 15% (B20) and 70% (B100).
- Reductions in total hydrocarbon emissions of 10% (B20) and 40% (B100).
For more information on biodiesel, visit " All About Biodiesel."
* Approximate reductions. Hydrocarbons not available.
Ethanol Fueled Vehicle
Ethanol-blended fuels reduced carbon dioxide equivalent greenhouse gas emissions by 7.8 million tons in 2005. E85 (85% ethanol, 15% gasoline) reduces carbon dioxide as much
as 39 - 46% compared to gasoline.
American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy
Natural Gas Vehicle Coalition and U.S. Dept. of Energy