Appendix B-Comparison of Alternative Fuels Technical Readiness

Appendix B-Comparison of Alternative Fuels Technical Readiness

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Fuel Production Vehicular Demand Capacity Major Impediments to Future Use
Gasoline Produced using domestic and foreign crude oil.

Considerable quantities must be imported to meet domestic demand.
Enormous and slowly growing. The U.S. has sufficient proven reserves of crude oil to last at least 12 years.

The U.S. has insufficient refinery capacity to produce all of the gasoline that it consumes.
Declining reserves of crude oil.

Production of greenhouse gas and other pollutants.

Use of foreign sources of supply of crude oil and gasoline.

Price volatility of crude oil and gasoline
Diesel Produced using domestic and foreign crude oil. Enormous and slowly growing. See Gasoline See Gasoline
Electricity Produced with both nonrenewable fuels (e.g., oil and coal) and renewable sources of energy (e.g., solar, wind, and water power). Pure electric (including plug-in hybrids): relatively small and static.

Other:
gasoline / battery hybrids currently in high demand.
Renewable sources currently in use have limited capacity. Limited battery capacity.

Limited fueling infrastructure.

Limited availability of electric vehicles.

Speed of implementing smart grid technologies.

Primary sources of lithium for batteries are foreign.
Natural Gas Despite vast reserves of gas, some importation, particularly from Canada, occurs. During the heating season, some imports from overseas are brought in by ship to augment domestic supplies. Large and growing. Based on a comparison of proven reserves with gross withdrawals, the U.S. has sufficient proven reserves to last over 90 years.

If demand were to increase due to increased use as a motor fuel, additional processing-plant capacity might be needed.
Limited fueling infrastructure.

Limited availability of natural gas powered vehicles
LPG Produced about 50/50 from natural gas processing and petroleum refining.

Production a function in part of the demand for natural gas and other refining products.
Large but declining.   Limited fueling infrastructure

Limited availability of natural gas powered vehicles
LPG Produced about 50/50 from natural gas processing and petroleum refining.

Production a function in part of the demand for natural gas and other refining products.
Large but declining.   Limited fueling infrastructure;

Limited availability of natural gas powered vehicles.
Ethanol In 2007, 6.5 billion gallons produced at 134 plants in 26 states.

In Sept. 2008, capacity was 9.2 billion gallons per year.

Domestic production growing.
E85: Growing.

Ethanol in gasohol: very large and rapidly growing.
In 2007, 77 new or expanded plants being planned.

In 2007, 7.8 billion gallons and slated to increase in the near term.

As of late 2008, many plants are closing or being postponed.
Fuel food trade-off.

Limited fuel availability due to numerous distribution challenges.

Engine compatibility concerns.

Various concerns relating to using the existing petroleum pipeline system for distribution.

Uncertainties associated with the development of cellulosic ethanol production capabilities.
Biodiesel As of late 2008, produced at 176 plants in 40 states.

Production tripled between 2004 and 2005 and tripled again between 2005 and 2006.

In 2008, a number of plants idle to reassess profitability.
Large and very rapidly growing. Capacity is currently at about 2.6 billion gallons per year.

Adequate feedstocks exist to support production of 1.7 billion gallons per year.
Diesel engine compatibility concerns.

Limited fuel availability due to numerous distribution challenges.

Rethinking feedstock choice due to price increases.

Fuel food trade-off.
Hydrogen Serious production for fuel still in early stages. Debate over relative costs and benefits associated with centralized and decentralized production as yet unresolved. Minor but growing.   Limited fueling infrastructure; limited pipeline distribution infrastructure; limited carrying capacity of tanks on tank trucks and the need for Federal regulatory approval to increase that capacity; limited availability of hydrogen powered vehicles.