Alternative Fuel

Alternative fuel is any material or substance, other than petroleum (oil), which is consumed to provide energy to power an engine. Some alternative fuels are biodiesel, ethanol, butanol, chemically stored electricity (batteries and fuel cells), hydrogen, methane, natural gas, wood, and vegetable oil. The need for the development of alternative fuel sources has been growing due to concerns about the environment and that the production of oil will no longer supply the demand.

In a battery or fuel cell powered vehicle, the “fuel” is the set of chemicals which is oxidized and reduced to provide the electricity. In some circumstances, however, electricity may be provided directly to a mobile electric engine, such as an electrified trolley or train, or a magnetically levitated train. In such cases, electricity itself may be treated as an alternative “fuel,” since it replaces fuel energy used in transportation.