Strategy #3: Alternative Fuels

Most construction equipment and large delivery vehicles are fueled by diesel. Although diesel is significantly more efficient than regular gasoline (i.e., more miles per gallon), its combined gaseous and particulate emissions can override those mileage benefits.  Some alternative fuels used to replace standard diesel fuel may reduce the environmental and human health impacts associated with construction projects and the delivery of goods. However, it is important to consider the tradeoffs that may be associated with each alternative before making a switch. The GHG impacts of alternative fuels vary widely. Some fuels have minimal GHG emissions benefits compared to gasoline or diesel, while others lead to substantial reductions. Even for a given alter­native fuel, GHG reductions can vary widely depending on how the fuel is produced. For more information, see the California Air Resources Board’s Carbon Intensity Lookup table for fuels that replace gasoline.

The list below includes some general information on typical diesel fuel alternatives.

  • Biodiesel (B20)

    Biodiesel is an alternative fuel made by reacting animal or vegetable fats with alcohol. Biodiesel refers to the pure fuel before blending with diesel fuel. (80% petroleum diesel, 20% biodiesel blend).

  • Biodiesel (B99-B100)

    B100 is 100% biodiesel and not blended with petroleum diesel.

  • Compressed Natural Gas (CNG)

    CNG is a readily available alternative to gasoline that’s made by compressing natural gas to less than 1% of its volume at standard atmospheric pressure. Consisting mostly of methane, CNG is odorless, colorless and tasteless.

  • Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG)

    Natural gas is converted into LNG, by a process called liquefaction, into a clear, colorless liquid.

  • Propane

     Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) - A gas normally compressed and stored as a liquid.

  • Hybrid-Electric

    Powered by both gasoline and a battery that recharges as the vehicle brakes.

  • Electric

    All-electric vehicles (EVs) use a battery to store the electrical energy that powers the motor.

  • Ethanol (E85)

    Pure alcohol that is typically blended with gasoline to produce a cleaner-burning fuel.

For more information, go to this link: 150512.EPP Fuels Matrix.xlsx