Analysis of Alternative Fuels in Automotive Powertrains

University essay from Linköpings universitet/Institutionen för systemteknik

Abstract:

The awareness of the effect emissions have on the environment and climate has risen in the last decades. This has caused strict regulations of greenhouse gas emissions. Greenhouse gases cause global warming which may have devastating environmental effects. Most of the fuels commercially available today are fossil fuels. There are two major effects of using fuels with fossil origin; the source will eventually drain and the usage results in an increase of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Fuels that are created from a renewable feedstock are often referred to as alternative fuels and under ideal conditions they are greenhouse gas neutral, meaning that the same amount of greenhouse gases is released during combustion as the source of the fuel have absorbed during its growth period. This evaluation method is known as a well-to-wheel analysis which besides emissions also evaluates energy efficiencies during both the production and the combustion phases.

By evaluating results of well-to-wheel analyses along with fuel properties and engine concept characteristics, this report presents which driving scenario that is suitable for different powertrain configurations. For example, vehicles operating in high populated areas, as cities, have a driving scenario that includes low velocities and multiple stops while vehicles in low populated areas often travel long distances in higher speeds. This implies that different powertrains are suitable in different regions. By matching favorable properties of a certain powertrain to the properties important to the actual driving scenario this report evolves a fuel infrastructure that is suitable in Sweden.

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