Alternative Source For Automotive Emissions

by : Dan Mercurio

As far back as the late 1980’s, automobiles accounted for as much as 70% of toxic emissions in the U.S. Even though with government regulations and stricter rules about how car exhaust systems would be designed, there has been only a slight reduction in the pollutants since the Clean Air Act went into effect in 1977. Today emissions from gas driven vehicles are still a primary concern for government regulators, the automotive manufacturers and the general public.

With even more emphasis being placed on this by those who have a stake in it, such as the , and what can be done with alternative fuels and the vehicles that they power, we are starting to see that this is outpacing vehicle size and efficiency of combustion as the most promising source of pollution reduction for gas powered vehicles. With the appearance of alternative fuel itself and the subsequent requirements for how they are to be used with vehicles, there has been a huge increase in expenditures for corporate research and development. With what appears to be a general acceptance of this new fuel source, there is an indication of long term stability in this area and what industry can do to offset the rising costs of oil as well as the reduction in toxic emissions.

Even though alternative fuel technologies have been looked at by automobile manufacturers for more than a decade, the technologies itself has never been fully developed to its maximum potential.

The fuels for and that are the current focus in the U.S. include reformulated gasoline, ethanol/ethanol blends, compressed natural gas and electricity.

Many international manufacturers as far away as Japan are focused more on electricity rather than bio fuels, while the Europeans remain focused on both electrical and hydrogen. To date in this ever growing fast paced technology race, there are no clear sources offering a competitive advantage. It remains uncertain whether those who choose to get in early will have any advantage through learning-curve effects or by ensuring the presence of their technology in regulatory standards.

The multiple fuel choices will continue to have a lasting effect on the automotive industry.? There will probably be many choices for fuels from the point on as long as there are cars to be driven.