Engineering and Technology Management
In the next few decades fuel technologies will become increasingly important. Governmental legislation over environmental concerns and limited oil supplies are moving the world towards alternative fuels. Current estimates of known reserves, estimates of potential oil finds and current world oil consumption lead most experts to believe we have at best forty or fifty years of available oil. Worst case scenarios suggest that oil production will begin to decline by 2010. With the demand for oil increasing proportionally to population growth (the per capita consumption has been steady at about 4.5 barrels / person since 1985) there will likely be an energy shortage if alternatives are not developed. This paper looks at transitioning into short term energy alternatives, which are already in limited use and then to long term solutions. In the short term alternatives such as alcohol fuels, biomass and hybrid technologies can ease us out of our oil dependencies. In the long term hydrogen seems to be the most likely solution. Hydrogen is not found in nature, in a form useful for energy generation, therefore plants to produce hydrogen fuel will be required. To fuel these plants energy can be produces from renewable sources we look at two possibilities, tidal energy generation and solar energy. To realize the advantages of alternative fuels compelling incentives (e.g. Government regulations, policies and tax or financial) need to be put in place. Alternative fuel technologies and infrastructure need to be developed before oil production begins to drop.
Wilson, Clark; Nguyen, Hung; Gieschke, Pascal; Boonserm, Kittinan; and Angel, David, "Alternative Fuels for Transportation" (2003). Engineering and Technology Management Student Projects. 1393.