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A Quantitive Comparison Of Motor Fuels, Related Pollution And Technologies

The Clean Fuels Report cuts through the confusion by focusing on the data.
by Staff Writers
Dublin, Ireland (SPX) Apr 22, 2008
The Clean Fuels Report: A Quantitive Comparison of Motor Fuels, Related Pollution and Technologies is a unique perspective on one of the largest and most talked about issues of our time - how to adjust our use of motor fuels to clean the air? The author, a mechanical design engineer and past alternative fuel fleet manager, asked this question in 1990 and has spent the intervening years in researching and building devices that could possibly provide the answer.

The vital field of alternative transportation fuels and emission reduction technologies is beset with complexities that include classic engineering design trade offs, a lack of comparative empirical data, messages from special interest groups (sometimes posing as science) and journalistic bombast that have done everything to confuse a fundamentally complex engineering decision that society and, often, politicians think can be settled and implemented over the period of a year or so when in fact the timeline is more like 20 or 50 years..

The Clean Fuels Report cuts through the confusion by focusing on the data. It is an engineers review paper. The relevant data is sourced, massaged into comparable format and presented as concisely as possible without bias. It is a search for what could possibly work better than the liquid fossil fuels that we currently use.

For example, the central data on the emission of the fuels is from the California Air Resources Board and is classic government science - long on data and short on analysis. The measured data while accurate is in no way comparable because it has too many variables. There are 6 fuels with 67 measured chemical compounds in each exhaust stream. So to make a design decision about these requires comparing about 400 figures.

A change of fuel or an engine improvement that reduces one of these may raise another two. To see through this kind of problem the data is put through an averaging index and then presented graphically. In this form it presents clear and surprising results.

The CFR has sections on global warming, local pollutants (smog), exhaust emissions data, practical considerations of alternative fuels (grouped as gaseous or liquid), supply considerations, a summary table of all issues, conclusions, recommendations and expectations, references and, an extensive appendices of data related to the mainstream discussion of the report.

It is an invaluable reference document as well as being essential reading for all those wanting concise sensible unbiased information about the interplay between the literal engines of our economy and the associated pollution. Does it help if we move away from gasoline and diesel? Can we afford to move away from them? Will our economy collapse if we do or will it improve?

What are they alternatives? Why are they better? Can we distribute these alternatives? Have we got cars that run them? The questions rapidly concatenate but the Clean Fuels Report cuts to the data from varied sources to get at the surprising answers that are hidden behind the politics of international energy and science.

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