As a Clean Cities coalition the Yellowstone-Teton Clean Energy Coalition remains fuel neutral. In our mission to displace petroleum, reduce harmful emissions and increase energy security we support the use of all alternative fuels. This page gives a brief description of each of the alternative fuels currently available on the market. We hope to provide you with enough facts to enable you to make the right fuelling decision for yourself or your fleet. To learn more about each fuel click on the fuel name and you will be taken to the Department of Energy’s Alternative Fuels Data Center.
Use the Alternative Fueling Station Locator to find alternative fuels wherever you are traveling.
Biodiesel is a drop-in, renewable replacement for diesel fuel produced from new and used vegetable oils and animal fat. Pure biodiesel or any blend level (B5-B100) with petroleum diesel can be used in existing diesel engines. Biodiesel provides emission reduction benefits, burning cleaner and quieter than petroleum diesel.
Want some quick facts? Click for our Beginner’s Guide to Biodiesel.
- The National Biodiesel Board is a great resource for all things biodiesel related
- Biodiesel Myths Busted – including biodiesel use in cold weather, biodiesel’s relationship with food prices and how biodiesel affects vehicle warranties
- Biodiesel Automotive – technical resources including training courses for diesel technicians
- Biodiesel Blends Fact Sheet
- Straight Vegetable Oil as Diesel Fuel – this fact sheet clears up the common confusion between straight vegetable oil (new or used restaurant grease) and biodiesel
Electricity can be used to power plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) and full electric vehicles (EV). These vehicles can be charged directly from the power grid, the electricity stored to later power the highly efficient electric motor. PHEV’s have reduced tail-pipe emissions and EV’s have no tailpipe emissions. The emissions associated with electric propulsion are from electricity production – be it coal, hydro etc. Whatever the power source, electricity production is far more efficient than individual internal combustion engines, meaning that your tailpipe emissions have not just been relocated, but are significantly reduced.
Need a quick rundown on electric vehicles? Click for our Beginner’s Guide to Electric Vehicles.
- Common questions answered on Hybrid and Plug-in Electric Vehicles
- Plug-in Electric Vehicle Handbook for Fleet Managers
Ethanol is a domestic renewable fuel produced from biomass (a variety of plant material including corn, sugar cane, grasses and wood). Ethanol is blended with gasoline at varying levels to be used in gasoline engines. E85, E20 and E10 are the most common blends available. Ethanol helps reduce imported oil and greenhouse gas emissions.
- Ethanol Basics – Clean Cities Fact Sheet
- Ethanol Myths and Facts – including energy balance statistics, fuel economy and performance
- Flexible Fuel Vehicles – costs and benefits
- Business Case for Installing E85 at Retail Stations
- Handbook for Handling, Storing, and Dispensing E85
Natural gas is a domestically produced cleaner burning fuel. The majority of natural gas is extracted from oil and gas wells while much smaller amounts come from landfill gas or are made synthetically. Natural gas can only be used as a fuel in vehicles specifically designed or converted to run on natural gas. These may be CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) or LNG (Liquified Natural Gas) vehicles, each requiring a specific conversion and fueling system.
Want a quick overview of compressed natural gas? Click for our Beginner’s Guide to CNG.
FAQ: If natural gas is a fossil fuel, why is it considered an alternative fuel? The Energy Policy Act of 1992 defined alternative fuels as transportation fuels aside from gasoline and diesel that have benefits such as reduced emissions or increased energy security. The majority of natural gas consumed in the U.S is produced domestically. Natural gas reduces U.S. dependence on foreign oil from politically unstable counties. The use of natural gas to displace petroleum reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 21-26%. The U.S. already has a vast natural gas distribution system, giving the fuel great promise for transportation. Sources: 1, 2, 3.
- Natural Gas Basics
- Business Case for Compressed Natural Gas in Municipalities
- Natural Gas Transit Users Group
- Hydraulic Fracturing and Shale Gas Production – Technology, Impacts, & Policy – Argonne National Lab
Propane is also known as liquefied petroleum gas (LPG or LP-gas), or ‘auto gas’ in Europe. It is non-toxic and presents no threat to soil, surface water or groundwater. Less than 2% of U.S. propane is used for transportation fuel. Vehicles must be converted to use propane.
Need a quick and easy fact sheet on propane? Click for our Beginner’s Guide to Propane as a Transportation Fuel.