Possible transport energy sources for the future

In the medium to long term, low fossil fuel availability will make it necessary to find alternatives. Mass production of biofuels will not be a practical solution because it requires strong competition for land that is used for growing food. Therefore, it will be necessary to revise the frame of transportation energy sources. The number of pure light- and heavy-duty electric vehicles could increase in urban areas. Instead, it will be hard to find a viable alternative to the internal combustion engine for extra-urban transport vehicles, therefore alternative synthetic fuels could be used to compensate for fossil fuel depletion. Aside from a small share obtainable from biomass, most synthetic fuels are expected to be obtained from coal. Among these, synthetic natural gas represents a very good solution. In fact, synthetic natural gas will be advantageous with respect to hydrogen, whose on-board storage will be an unsolved problem in the medium term, and with respect to synthetic liquid fuels, which require more energy in the production phase. Moreover, the carbon content of liquid fuels, which is higher than that of gaseous fuels, will be responsible for higher CO2 emissions from vehicles. Currently, natural gas has poor diffusion in the transport sector, and this paper highlights the motivations for favouring a policy aimed at increasing the share of gaseous fuel-powered vehicles. In addition to the low environmental impact, synthetic natural gas also offers the possibility of optimising the utilisation of future resources.


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  • Accession Number: 01483509
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: May 20 2013 3:31PM