Alternative Fuels

Substitutes for Petroleum

Alternative fuels can be substituted for traditional gasoline or diesel fuels. The federal Energy Policy Act of 1992 identifies six such fuels listed below. Alternative fuels may be used either as a replacement for gasoline or in conjunction with it. All alternative fuels can be domestically produced, and most provide significant air quality benefits when used as a vehicle fuel.

Hydrogen & Fuel Cells

Though hydrogen does not produce energy, it can be thought of as an energy carrier. The hydrogen molecule is able to generate power by passing through a device such as a hydrogen fuel cell.

Hydrogen fuel cell technology is touted as the next generation of energy. Though in its earliest stages, fuel cell technological breakthroughs are occurring regularly and may be the future alternative to power vehicles, turbines, and generate electricity and heat.

Researchers around South Carolina are exploring fuel cell technology for automotive applications. Clemson University has incorporated hydrogen production and storage and automotive system integration into its International Center for Automotive Research (CU-ICAR). South Carolina State University is working through the James E. Clyburn Transportation Center to educate a skilled workforce in demand by government agencies for future transportation employees.