Gasoline Alternatives

Eco Brooklyn is growing as a company and needs to buy another vehicle. As a green contractor we are not crazy about adding to our carbon footprint. So lessen the impact we’ve started looking into alternative fuel options and fuel efficiency.

The best web site for this is FuelEconomy.gov

We started by first looking at the vehicles with best MPG. We then researched the best alternative options.

Diesel is so rare in the US that you can call it an alternative option. Pretty much all pickups and vans in Europe are Diesel but here in the US where oil is dirt cheap we don’t care about MPG and most vans and trucks run on gasoline.

After deciding that Diesel did not lower our footprint enough we looked further.

Hybrid cars are not ideal. Too expensive and only half fixing the issue in our oppinion.

Then you have the following options (taken directly from the site).

E85 Pump Label Ethanol is produced domestically from corn and other crops and produces less greenhouse gas emissions than conventional fuels.
Biodiesel Logo Biodiesel is derived from vegetable oils and animal fats. It usually produces less air pollutants than petroleum-based diesel.
CNG Logo Natural gas is a fossil fuel that generates less air pollutants and greenhouse gases.
CNG Logo Propane, also called liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), is a domestically abundant fossil fuel that generates less harmful air pollutants and greenhouse gases.
DOE Hydrogen Program Logo Hydrogen can be produced domestically from fossil fuels (such as coal), nuclear power, or renewable resources, such as hydropower. Fuel cell vehicles powered by pure hydrogen emit no harmful air pollutants.

From our preliminary research we have concluded that Ethanol just shifts the burden from oil extraction to growing corn, a pretty nasty practice in itself.

Biodiesel is a good choice. If you make your own you can literally get your fuel from the local Chinese restaurant. The one drawback is that it does require a little tinkering (changing of oil filters etc).

Natural gas is a great choice. We like natural gas.

Hydrogen is great too but requres Fuel cell technology which at this point is not that cheap. This one is a real winner but probably out of our reach right now until the technology becomes more mainstream.

At this point we are looking to buy a normal gas vehicle and convert it to a natural gas engine. The good thing about this is that NY has lots of natural gas places to “gas up”.

About the author: Gennaro Brooks-Church

2 comments to “Gasoline Alternatives”

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  1. j - November 30, 2009 at 7:58 pm

    How come your friend didn’t keep them natural gas. Why spend money changing them to a more expensive fuel?

  2. mike - November 30, 2009 at 5:49 pm

    check city auctions i have a friend who bought suvs that were nat. gas and converted them to gas

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