Putting Out Fire...with Gasoline? A Pragmatic Path toward Clean Fuels

Renewables are in the limelight of economic models and there is much discussion about making the internal combustion engine (ICE) obsolete, perhaps with power sources such as batteries and hydrogen fuel cells. Yet ICE replacement may not be necessary. The source of most transportation emissions is combustible fuels created from fossil fuels, which are also used in sectors such as industry and agriculture. Rather than hastily retrofitting or scrapping the millions of ICE-­powered vehicles that are already on the road, as part of the climate agenda—a move that would cost trillions of dollars (Sachs 2019) and potentially cost millions of poorer people their mobility—a wise, holistic investment to mitigate the effects of climate change might be as simple and cost-effective as an increase in renewables research. A carbon-free fuel to support engines powered by combustible sources such as gasoline, diesel, and propane without any major retrofits would ensure a fossil fuel–free economical and societal transition with as little risk as possible and could prevent further economic disarray in the transportation sector and in rural economies (O’Sullivan 2020).

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  • English

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  • Accession Number: 01747200
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jul 14 2020 2:39PM