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Alternative Fuels

Photo of a man standing next to a large heavy-duty truck cab while the truck is being filled with biodiesel at a refueling station.

As part of its work for the Clean Cities program, NREL helps people find and use alternative fuels such as biodiesel.
Credit: L.L. Bean

To reduce our growing dependence on imported oil, our nation's researchers are working with industry to develop several different kinds of alternative fuels. Some of these fuels can either be blended with petroleum while some are alternatives to petroleum. Using alternative fuels can also help to curb exhaust emissions and contribute to a healthier environment.

Most of today's conventional cars, vans, trucks, or buses can already run on some alternative fuels, such as blends of gasoline or diesel fuel that contain up to about 10% ethanol. However, we need specially designed vehicles to be able to use other alternative fuels, such as natural gas, hydrogen, electricity, and fuel blends containing a higher percentage of ethanol.

So NREL's researchers are helping to develop the fuels of the future, which could include any or all of these alternatives to conventional fuels:

More Information

For more information about alternative fuels, see the U.S. Department of Energy's Alternative Fuels & Advanced Vehicles Data Center Web site.