Online tool analyzes alternative fuels, including autogas

May 12, 2016 By    

The Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory released an updated version of its Alternative Fuel Life-Cycle Environmental and Economic Transportation tool (AFLEET) to reflect the latest advances in alternative fuels and updated emissions data.

Sponsored by DOE’s Clean Cities program, AFLEET serves as a free online tool. According to Argonne, the tool helps users to assess what types of vehicles and alternative fuels will work best for them. Argonne recommends managers who purchase and maintain fleet vehicles use the tool exclusively.

The updated version of AFLEET includes information on gaseous hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, state-based fuel pricing, private station fuel pricing and fueling infrastructure costs. Updates to existing input in AFLEET include new light-duty vehicle costs and vehicle air pollutant emission factors.

According to Argonne, AFLEET developers have conducted case studies that evaluate the environmental benefits of fleets that run on propane, such as propane-fueled school buses or delivery trucks. In all of AFLEET’s propane-operated vehicle case studies, the use of propane displaced about 1,000 gallons of diesel fuel per vehicle annually, on average.

“There really isn’t a tool out there to look at alternative fuels and advanced vehicles in this way,” says Andrew Burnham, Argonne’s principal environmental scientist, in a press release. “We’re bringing the unique expertise Argonne has in vehicle and fuel life-cycle analysis to provide environmental information like petroleum use and greenhouse gas and air pollutant emissions, as well as cost analysis, so users have as much information as possible.”

About the Author:

Megan Smalley was an associate editor at LP Gas magazine.

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