Alternative Fuels for Automobiles .Alternative Fuels for Automobiles Interactive Qualifying Project

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  • Alternative Fuels for Automobiles

    Interactive Qualifying Project Report completed in partial fulfillment

    of the Bachelor of Science degree at

    Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester, MA

    Submitted to:

    Professor Ken Stafford

    by

    __________________________ Alessandro Chiumiento

    __________________________ Brian Beach

    __________________________ Jose Molina

    Date: December 17, 2008

    ______________________________________

    Professor Kenneth Stafford, Major Advisor

  • Page | ii

    Abstract

    Steadily escalating gasoline prices, increased environmental concerns, and poor international politics

    have sparked new interests for alternatively fueled vehicles. There are numerous alternative fuel technologies including gasoline-hybrids, diesels, full electrics, as well as hydrogen and ethanol. These technologies are changing rapidly and consumers are having difficulty trying to decipher which type of vehicle is the most worthy investment. This study provides a simple breakdown of the pros and cons of the alternative fuel technologies as well as a statistical review of the total ownership costs of the vehicle up to 100,000 miles.

  • Page | iii

    Acknowledgements

    We would like to thank the following individuals for their contributions to our project. Without their

    assistance, the project wouldnt be completed to the fullest possible extent.

    Professor Kenneth A. Stafford For his knowledge and guidance throughout the project

    Kim Wykes

    For allowing use of tables in campus center for our survey to better outreach to WPI students

    Professor Ingrid Matos For allowing the distribution of our survey to better outreach to WPI students

    Felipe Polido

    For distributing our survey to the Outing Club

    David Willens For allowing the distribution of our survey to the WPI ASME Chapter

    Dan Cullen

    For allowing the use of the WPI Motorsports Forum for our survey

    Fathers and Sons Volkswagen For information on dealer pricing and maintenance costs

  • Page | iv

    Authorship Page

    Abstract........................................................................................................... Alessandro

    Acknowledgements........ Group

    Authorship Page........ Alessandro/Brian

    Executive Summary........... Group

    Introduction........... Alessandro

    Background............ Group

    Oil Industry Background and History......................... Jose Molina

    Oil Politics and Economics......................... Jose Molina

    United States Oil Consumption......................... Jose Molina

    Liquid Fuels and Transportation Sector.......................... Jose Molina

    Environmental Concerns .......................... Jose Molina

    Conventional Gasoline Driven Vehicles.......................... Brian

    Conventional Gasoline Engine ......................................... Brian

    Diesel Background and History......................... Brian

    Diesel Theory and Operation....................................... Brian

    Diesel Myths........................................ Brian

    Current Diesel Options......................... Brian

    Future Diesel Options........................ Brian

    Benefits of Diesels in Comparison to Gasoline........................... Brian

    Hybrid Background and History............................ Alessandro

    Hybrid Options............................. Alessandro

    Mild Hybrids....................................................... Alessandro

  • Page | v

    Full Hybrids............................................. Alessandro

    Plug in Electric Hybrid (PHEV)............................................ Alessandro

    Hybrid Technology............................. Alessandro

    Regenerative Breaking............................................ Alessandro

    Electric Motor/Drive Assist........................................... Alessandro

    Automatic Start/Shuttoff............................................ Alessandro

    Advantages and Disadvantages of Hybrid Vehicles..................................... Alessandro

    All Electric Vehicle Technology and History.............................. Alessandro

    GM EV-1............................................. Alessandro

    All Electric Future............................... Alessandro

    Background for Hydrogen as a Fuel............................... Jose

    Hydrogen as Fuel................................ Jose

    Hydrogen Fuel Cell................................................ Jose

    Liquid Hydrogen................................................. Jose

    Benefits and Disadvantages of Hydrogen as a Fuel.................................. Jose

    Background and History of Ethanol.................................. Jose

    Benefits of Ethanol................................... Jose

    Methodology..................................................................................................... Group

    Graphical Analysis.............................................................................................. Brian

    Survey................................................................................................................ Alessandro

    Results and Analysis.......................................................................................... Alessandro/Brian

    Conclusion and Recommendation.................................................................... Group

    References........................................................................................................ Group

    Afterword. Group

  • Page | vi

    Glossary............................................................................................................ Group

    Appendix........................................................................................................... Group

  • Page | vii

    Table of Contents Abstract ................................................................................................................................................................... ii

    Acknowledgements ................................................................................................................................................ iii

    Authorship Page ..................................................................................................................................................... iv

    Table of Figures ................................................................................................................................................... viii Table of Tables ....................................................................................................................................................... x Executive Summary ............................................................................................................................................... xi Introduction ............................................................................................................................................................. 1 Literature Review/ Background .............................................................................................................................. 2

    Oil Industry Background and History ................................................................................................................. 2 Oil and the U.S. ................................................................................................................................................... 2 Oil and Environmental Concerns ........................................................................................................................ 6 Diesel Background and History .......................................................................................................................... 9 Hybrid Background and History ....................................................................................................................... 16

    All Electric Background and History ................................................................................................................ 22 Ethanol .............................................................................................................................................................. 25

    Ethanol Environmental Impact: ........................................................................................................................ 26 Ethanol vs. Gasoline ......................................................................................................................................... 29

    Hydrogen........................................................................................................................................................... 32 Hydrogen Environmental Impact: ..................................................................................................................... 33

    Hydrogen Economy and Political Implications: ............................................................................................... 34 Hydrogen Fuel vs. Gasoline:............................................................................................................................. 37 Internal Combustion Engine vs. Fuel Cell: ..........................