While lead-free gasoline and catalytic converters have contributed to reduced emissions from mobile sources, ozone level improvement has been slow. As a result, the attention of industry and government on air quality has continued to focus on tighter emissions standards. Because of the concern over the expense to achieve these standards, consumers need full knowledge of potential benefits if they are to be expected to pay the costs of these improvements. The Bush Administration has endorsed a fuel-neutral and market-oriented playing field in the drive toward cleaner-burning fuels. The fuel industry supports the Bush Administration's intent to accomplish its goals on a competitive economic basis within the framework of a freely functioning, dynamic marketplace. While the Administration plan clearly identified methanol as the alternative fuel of choice, the fuel industry has expressed concern that major questions about methanol remain unanswered. To ensure that properly informed decisions about the cleanest-burning, most cost-effective fuels would be made on the basis of the best available scientific evidence, the petroleum and automobile industries announced a major joint research effort for 1990. Methanol and reformulated gasoline blends are the focus of the study. Three additives for gasoline will also be studied in Phase I of the research effort: methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE), ethanol, and ethyl tertiary butyl ether (ETBE). Other alternative fuels will be studied during Phase II of the program. This article provides an outline of the scope of the joint research effort. Also included is a discussion of the preliminary data available on compressed natural gas (CNG) and methanol, CNG vehicles in use today, the safety of CNG vehicles, the potential for reformulated gasoline use, the public understanding of the costs and benefits of meeting emission standards, and government/industry cooperation in developing policies to improve the country's energy position.

Media Info

  • Features: Figures; Photos; References;
  • Pagination: p. 27-31
  • Serial:
    • TR News
    • Issue Number: 148
    • Publisher: Transportation Research Board
    • ISSN: 0738-6826

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00497229
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Sep 30 1990 12:00AM