Alternative Fuels Are Becoming More Accessible, More Sustainable

Alternative Fuels Are Becoming More Accessible, More Sustainable

Purple fuel nozzle floats in the air, connected to leaf. Trees and a cloud float in the background.

Wednesday, November 2, 2022 - 11:40am

CAMPAIGN: Booster Fuels | Sustainability

CONTENT: Article

Decarbonizing transportation is a key focus of the current sustainability movement. Nonetheless, new internal combustion engine vehicles will continue to hit the roads, with millions more projected to be sold by 2030. To ensure net-zero targets are met despite this, the fuels used in these vehicles will need to become more sustainable, explains Chris Kaufield, VP of sustainability and electrification at Booster®, in a recent article for Modern Work Truck Solutions magazine.

Recognizing the need for reduced- and zero-emissions fuels, producers are reformulating familiar fuels and reinventing production methods to realize sustainability gains and make these new fuels easier to access. To do this, they are rethinking the feedstocks of the fuels drivers already know and love.

“Already, a range of fuels from renewable natural gas and renewable diesel to ethanol and methanol are made from waste sources including biomass, municipal waste, industrial scrap, corn, soybeans, banana peels, and more,” writes Kaufield. “The output of sustainable alternative fuels coming from these feedstocks is growing globally. In many cases the resulting fuels are “drop in” replacements, indistinguishable from the fuels truck operators depend on already.”

There is also an increase in the use of blended fuels. Kaufield explains that the practice of blending fuels to optimize performance for summer or winter is not new, but blending is becoming increasingly dialed, with new blends being optimized for geographies, vehicle use cases, and local cost factors. As Kaufield writes, “blended fuels allow for tradeoffs between emissions, costs, and specific energy content.”

Another key strategy fuel producers are using to make sustainable fuel adoption more accessible and affordable is through flexible energy carriers. With this method, multipurpose carriers like dimethyl ether or a variety of syngases are stored and transported using existing infrastructure and logistics, then converted to specialty fuels on-demand. This allows fuel producers to better match the amount of each fuel type to the demand in each location, and streamlines the storage and transportation process.

All this is to say that fleet managers with ICE vehicles who want to be more sustainable have multiple options to do so. Kaufield suggests fleet managers looking to take advantage of new developments in sustainable fuels monitor all available options closely, favoring those that hold up against regulatory and scientific scrutiny.

“More tailored solutions will include a diverse mix of fuels matched to applications, supplied through both fixed stations and mobile fueling partners,” writes Kaufield. “Regardless of the size of your fleet, treat fuel management as a critical function that connects fleet performance to your company’s long-term sustainability goals.”

CATEGORY: Energy