Friday, March 18, 2011

Where can I find an electric car?

Many of us have been stuck in the notion that electric cars are still a thing of the future and that we are still waiting for the technology to improve. Sorry guys the technology for the electric car is old and the improvements are astounding! Every major car dealer has supplied the world an fully electric car and now it the time you get to hear about them.
General Motors has the Volt that gets 40miles on pure electric and 500 miles on a gasoline electric hybrid. General Motors is likely to introduce a electric SUV hybrid in 2012.
Nissan has introduced the Leaf which gets 100 miles a charge from it 100% pure electric propulsion.
Ford is selling the Focus in an array of options. A consumer can pick the fully electric, electric hybrid, of fuel efficient sedan.  Ford is preparing to have 5 electric/hybrid cars by the end of 2012.
Toyota and Honda have be pumping out hybrids for years but both manufactures have a pure electric car and Toyota will release a electric SUV the RAV-4
These car manufactures are the only one gearing up for the electric car craze. China anticipates a need for 100 million charging station by 2020. Manufactures like BMW, Fiat, Volkswagen, and Renault Fluence are launch or preparing to launch their own line by 2013.
Still think this is a underdeveloped idea? Check out Clean Fleets Top 10 car makers to see it they are kidding.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

A Real Case - Prospects and Analysis of Potential CNG Vehicle Implementation in China

     China is currently heavily dependent upon foreign oil imports from the Middle East in an effort to support its growing economy. The increase in natural gas serves as the ideal springboard from which compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles can gain economic viability in China. Adopting compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles in China would improve national political and environmental standing. First, increased use of compressed natural gas vehicles will lower demand for foreign petroleum. Second, compressed natural gas vehicles exude fewer pollutants than traditional petroleum based vehicles. Consequentially, CNG vehicles will decrease pollution emitted into the air, which is a strong motivator as the current air quality in China is poor, particularly in Beijing wherein pollution levels are 23 times those of New York City. Therefore, CNG vehicles will greatly contribute to the air pollution issue.

      The social costbenefit analysis takes Beijing as a case-study, and concludes that CNG implementation will result in a benefit to society in the form of decreased pollution levels, which will spell great societal savings considering the amount of vehicles present in Beijing.

     One of the results is the below chart, which indicates that CNG is significantly lower in life cycle greenhouse gas emissions than conventional gasoline (CG) or conventional diesel (CD), which are the two most popular fuels used in China.
     There is also a recent study on buses in Washington by the National Renewable Energy Laboratories shows further reductions of emissions from CNG vehicles as compared to diesel buses.

More information:

-Xiaoting Wu


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Electric Car Government Programs

     Growing things need help and encouragement. In order to promoting the electric cars, the U.S. government has created a number of new programs.  Many of the programs came from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The factory in Holland, Mich., that will build batteries for the Chevrolet Volt and Ford Focus Electric got a $151 million grant from the federal government as part of the stimulus act. Not only does having a domestic battery plant help the electric car industry, but the factory also employs 300 workers, which is no small thing for the troubled Michigan economy. Another factory in Livonia, Mich., received $249 million in stimulus dollars to build electric car batteries.

     However, the government's programs are not only intended for the car makers, they also provide benefits to consumers. One of benefits is that the government offers a tax credit to consumers who buy an electric car. The  programs cover in a variety of areas. The most useful one in my mind is the infrastructure program, which means to place electricity charging stations out where people can use to charge quickly and conveniently.

     In a word, programs that the U.S. government are creating toward the electric cars are used to make the cars easier in consumers' life.

Read the entire article:

- Xiaoting Wu

Noise Makes Electric Cars Safer

     Should electric cars make noise? The ordinary cars produce not only air pollution, but also noise pollution. The electric cars are emphasize on the environment issues, so should they be quiet? Obviously,  the answer is no. The noise electric cars make can be a warning to pedestrians. There are several discussions about what noise the cars should make (

     Althought electric cars can solve noise pollution, they may be more dangerous for people. Many people killed by the green cars, including the blind, pedestrians and bicyclists. The blind use their hearing to locate and avoid dangers, and the pedestrians and bicyclists also use the sound to know if a car is coming or not. So it's important to make the electric cars have noise so that we can avoid dangers and traffics. However, if the "make quiet cars noisy" were to have its way, the problem of noise pollution will still remain unsolved. (To know more information, go to:

- Xiaoting Wu

Natural Gas For Transportation

Natural Gas For Transportation?

     Billionaire oil man turned energy independence activist T. Boone Pickens has lately been doing the cable news talk show rounds again, trying put a little wind back into the sails of his flagging Pickens Plan. The alternative energy scheme would seek to replace gasoline with compressed natural gas, which generates 30 percent less emissions and is readily abundant within the United States. Pickens spent what any non-billionaire would consider a fortune promoting and investing in this idea, with little or nothing to show for it as of yet.
     According to a two-year study out of M.I.T. though, natural gas really is the future—just not of transportation. The report says it's highly unlikely that natural gas will ever power more than 15 percent of vehicles in the United States, but predicts that by 2050, the fuel will replace coal as the leading source of electrical power in the United States. Simply by ramping up natural gas production and electrical generation, the study says that "CO2 emissions could be reduced by as much as 22 percent with no additional capital investment."
     So even if mainstream commuter cars will never carry CNG tanks, the electric vehicles of tomorrow are likely to indirectly get much of the juice they use to charge their batteries from natural gas. ...

Read the entire article about CNG Vehicles:

- Xiaoting Wu

Who leaves the smaller carbon foot print; CNG or Electric powered cars?

First off both fuels are friendlier to the environment than petroleum powered cars; but in deciding which of these two energies is better we have to not only how renewable they are but which is overall friendlier to the environment? Hi. I'm leaning towards CNG as a better alternative to petroleum than electric cars. Methane is what we call Natural Gas and this can be produced by collecting and refining the decomposing waste. Today landfills are powering town around the world. 40% of the gas produced by the landfill is methane and can be refined and transported directly to homes via the pipeline infrastructure already in place. In Tillamook dairies are powered by the methane that the cows excrement produces. Like electric cars CNG cars have about a 100-200 mile per fill-up or charge making them idea for local travel but not long distances. The development of a quick charge battery will take longer to develop than to provide fill stations along highways for CNG. CNG fuel providers could be put in place just by governments providing subsidies or incentives. Additionally methane is charged with effecting the environment when it is released into the atmosphere, it is a greenhouse gas. Methane has a much much smaller effect when it is burned. CNG cars burn methane. Electric cars are primarily run on electricity that is produced by burning coal, which not only releases CO2 into the atmosphere but the digging for coal releases unburned methane into the atmosphere. Electric cars are great but CNG cars are a better choice of today. A possible alternative or maybe a better solution would be a combination of the fuels. Electricity is created by burning coal to heat water. The water turns into super heated steam which is used to turn a turbine. That turbine turning creates an electromagnetic field from which an electric current is produced. If the coal was replaced by natural gas, which is renewable, the effect of coal on the environment could be minimized. According to the US Energy Information Administration coal accounted for 44.5% of the electricity generated in 2009. The EIA also reported a drop in Natural Gas cost driving states to switch their electricity generation operations from coal to natural gas. “Coal-to-gas switching. The increase in delivered coal prices and the decrease in delivered natural gas prices, combined with surplus capacity at highly-efficient gas-fired combined-cycle plants resulted in coal-to-gas fuel switching This occurred particularly in the Southeast (Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, and South Carolina) and also Pennsylvania. Nationwide, coal-fired electric power generation declined 11.6 percent from 2008 to 2009, bringing coal's share of the electricity power output to 44.5 percent, the lowest level since 1978. Coal consumption at U.S. power plants paralleled the decline in generation, dropping 10.3 percent from 2008.8 In sharp contrast, natural gas-fired generation increased 4.3 percent in 2009, despite the 4.1-percent decline in overall electric generation. The natural gas share of generation increased to 23.3 percent—the highest level since 1970. Electricity's share of the total U.S. natural gas consumption has also risen rapidly, growing from 17 percent in 1996 to over 30 percent in 2009.” U.S. Energy Information Administration. (2010). Electric Power Annual. Retrieved from Here is a little blurb by James G. Speight “NG use does not contribute significantly to smog formation, as it emits low NO x levels and virtually no particulate matter. For this reason, it can be used to help combat smog formation in those areas where ground-level air quality is poor. Increased NG use in the electric generation sector, a shift to cleaner NG vehicles, or increased industrial NG use, could all serve to combat smog production, especially in urban centers where it is needed the most. Particularly in the summertime, when NG demand is lowest and smog problems are the greatest, industrial plants and electric generators could use NG to fuel their operations instead of other, more polluting fossil fuels. This would effectively reduce the emissions of smog-causing chemicals and result in clearer, healthier air around urban centers. Particulate emissions also cause air quality degradation in the US. These particulates can include soot, ash, metals and other airborne particles. NG emits virtually no particulates into the atmosphere. In fact, particulate emissions from NG combustion are 90% lower than from the combustion of oil, and 99% lower than burning coal. Thus, increased NG substitution in place of other dirtier fossil fuels can reduce particulate emissions.” (“Natural gas, the clean fuel,” 2009) Natural gas, the clean fuel. (2009). Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC, January(2009), . Retrieved from

Sunday, March 13, 2011 is a great website that is dedicated to electric vehicles of all kinds. On there are EV guides on converting a motorcycle or a gas powered car into electric, or you can find media stories about EV's, including Jay Leno's green car challenge for the stars, located under the EV gallery tab. There are links to EV current events, to concept vehicles, to EV industry updates, to being green articles. There are some links to stories that are a bit outdated, but overall this is go to website for a consumer that owns or is contemplating owning an electic vehicle. Follow this link to view the website.

EV Project arrives in Oregon with free charging stations for electric cars

     The first of the free residential electric car charging stations has arrived in Portland, in the second week of February, 2011. David Hopper of Beaverton was the first Oregonian to recieve the charging station, compliments of the EV Project. According to the article, there are already 29 charging stations in the state of Oregon, and the EV project will be adding 1,150 more.  When consumers sign up for the EV project they receive the residential car charging station for free. With up to 7,500 in federal tax credits, consumers in this project could purchase the brand new all electric Nissan Leaf for $26,000.00. For the full article, please click on the link below.

The EV Project

The EV Project

The EV Project is a 36 month project to deploy approximately 15,000 electric car charging stations in six U.S. States (Oregon, Washington, California, Arizona, Tennessee and Texas). The project started in October of 2009 by the company ECOtality North America. The total value of the project is now approximately $230 million, with $115 million coming from grants from the U.S. Department of Energy, and the other $115 million coming from a partner match.  A free residential charger will be provided free for consumers who purchase either the Nissan Leaf or Chevy Volt and meet the requirements of the project. Once the consumers get their free residential pump installed,  "The EV Project will collect and analyze data to characterize vehicle use in diverse topographic and climatic conditions, evaluate the effectiveness of charge infrastructure, and conduct trials of various revenue systems for commercial and public charge infrastructure. The ultimate goal of The EV Project is to take the lessons learned from the deployment of these first 8,300 EVs, and the charging infrastructure supporting them, to enable the streamlined deployment of the next 5,000,000 EVs."
To find out more about the project please click on this link: 

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Very Informative Website about NGC

Bader AlSabah
I found this website on natural gas vehicles.
 It gives very detailed and accurate information that covers wide range of aspects related to NGC. It offers the latest news, technology, and information on the next generation of NGC.  It also provides the readers with a list of NGC dealership in their area. The website also covers the safety aspect of NGC. It shows how NGC is safer and more reliable than gasoline powered cars. The website talks about the   growing popularity of natural gas vehicles: “Natural gas is now widely used in transit buses, school buses, refuse trucks, package delivery trucks, and vehicles used in ports. One thing these all have in common is that they can be refueled at a central location. Check out this website if you are interested to learn more about NGC .

Electric Cars And Hybrids Confusing

I found that this is a very interesting article. It talked about a survey of electric. To my surprise that most of people don't know electric car very well. So when we are trying to tell our readers the difference between electric cars and CNG, we should inform them as much information as we can to tell them what exactly the electric car and CNG is. 
Think car buyers understand what a hybrid is, or a plug-in electric car? Think again.
A new survey conducted by research firm Synovate finds that many of almost 1,900 new-car "buyers and intenders" don't understand how hybrid vehicles work.
Worse, most of them don't seem to understand how conventional hybrids--which have now been sold in the U.S. for a decade--differ from cars that plug in.
Survey data shows that most consumers consider buying fuel-efficient cars to save money, not for altruistic or environmental reasons. But we suspect unfamiliarity with these types of cars is bound to deter potential buyers, perhaps hurting hybrid sales.
2011 Chevrolet Volt
2011 Chevrolet Volt
Enlarge Photo
The results of the Synovate survey showed that only 50 percent of respondents knew that hybrid-electric vehicles have an additional battery pack.
One third knew thathybrids could run inelectric-only mode, but roughly a quarter thought that hybrids have no tailpipe (which only applies to battery electrics) and another quarter thought hybrid vehicles take more than 15 minutes to refuel.
This leads us to conclude that survey respondents didn't understand the differences among three different types of fuel-efficient vehicles:
  • Hybrids, which can run on electric power for short distances at low speeds (e.g. 2011 Toyota Prius)
  • Plug-in hybrids, which can run on electric power for longer distances and recharge from the electric grid (e.g. 2011 Chevy Volt, 2012 Toyota PriusPlug-In Hybrid)
  • Battery electric vehicles (e.g. 2011 Nissan Leaf) that refuel solely by plugging into a wall socket, and have no engine at all
Surprisingly, Synovate found that buyers knew relatively more about battery electric vehicles like the Leaf, though knowledge about how they would work in real life--for instance, how they are recharged--was lacking.
2011 Nissan Leaf, Nashville, October 2010
2011 Nissan Leaf, Nashville, October 2010
Enlarge Photo
Perhaps that's because the electric-car concept is simple, analogous to consumer electronic goods. No combustion engine in your laptop or mobile phone, right?
The survey offers a sobering reminder for those of us in automotive media, who tend to sling around terms like "plug-in hybrid" without checking to see how many of our readers actually understand what we're talking about.
But we'd like to get your opinion (whether you own a hybrid vehicle or not).
Why is there such confusion in the market, and what could automakers (or others) do to help buyers understand their options more clearly?

Jie Ji

Friday, March 11, 2011

Rising Fuel Prices Could Spur Natural Gas Boom

I posted this blog, because this blog talked about a real case about CNG happened in Oklahoma. This bolg talked that With oil prices hovering above $100 a barrel for the first time since 2008, and gasoline prices etching closer to $3.50 a gallon, the thought of paying 75 cents a gallon for CNG could change the minds of many Oklahomans.

One local company is on the forefront of bringing the abundance of Oklahoma’s natural gas reserves into the driveways and highways of Shawnee residents.
Ronnie Oldham, owner of CleanFuel Conversions in Shawnee, said most people in the industry expected compressed natural gas to explode with growth.
“Over the last couple of years, the industry has moved at a pretty quick pace,” Oldham said. “When you see someone driving around with a little blue diamond on the back of their car you know they have gotten smarter about their fuel cost.”
Oldham said the largest hurdle facing CNG cars are the misconceptions of safety.
“Natural gas is less volatile than gasoline,” Oldham said. “Safety is not a concern, if installed correctly CNG is safer than natural gas.”
Oldham said the drawbacks of using CNG involve the lack of infrastructure in the State and the country. Currently, Oklahoma has more than 50 fueling stations, including one in Shawnee.
“Oklahoma is leading the country in CNG,” Oldham said. “If you want to drive somewhere in Oklahoma you should be fine, however if you want to take a trip to Kansas you may want to fill up before you leave.”
Oldham said CNG takes up to four times the space of gasoline, cars and truck converted to use CNG will lose some trunk, and bed space. Oldham said that tanks are bulletproof.
Ford and Honda are the only active car companies that produce CNG dedicated vehicles. Most other cars can be converted, including older cars. The price for conversion varies from $9,000 to $15,000, with state and federal tax rebates available for some models.
“We see the most CNG cars in fleets, or with people who burn a lot of fuel,” Oldham said. “If you drive a lot CNG will save you on fuel cost, but if you don’t drive much, it is not yet economical.”
Oldham said rapid advancement CNG technology has lead to home fueling stations. The station hooks directly to a natural gas line in a home and can refuel a CNG car overnight.
“When I am home, I don’t even bother going to the station to fill up. I just plug it in and it fills itself,” Oldham said. “I have been off of gasoline for three years. I can drive from Shawnee to Austin for $15 in my truck.”
“CNG has always been 40 percent cheaper then gasoline,” Oldham said. “Everyone fears that gas will hit between $4 and $5 a gallon, while CNG is expected to remain steady.”
Oklahoma House Speaker Kris Steele said he would like to see Oklahoma lead the nation to energy independence, and that the use of natural gas and coal technology would be the first step.
“We are blessed with an abundance of natural gas in the State,” Steele said. “There is growing momentum to expand on the use of CNG. CNG is so much more affordable, it should be on the forefront of any energy bill in the State.”
“I think we should look for any option that would increase our energy output.” Rep. Josh Cockroft said. “Natural gas is such a readily available resource that we should definitely find a way to use it.”
Oklahoma Natural Gas operates the only CNG refueling site in Shawnee.
“Mileage and performance is equivalent, maintenance cost differs, because CNG burns much cleaner” Don Sherry, spokesman for ONG, said. “We don’t see ourself becoming a major provider of refuel CNG. We hope to see someone else in the private sector get involved."

Jie Ji

What's under the hood of a natural gas vehicle?

Natural gas vehicles have horsepower, acceleration and carrying capacity similar to that of their diesel and gasoline counterparts, but there are big differences as well. This YouTube video shows how CNG tanks can actually be safer than those used in gasoline-powered vehicles and how dedicated NGVs and bi-fuel vehicles can have a lower rate of maintenance and cost less to repair.

Bader AlSabah

Sen. James Inhofe: NGC is abundant, clean and inexpensive

By Bader Alsabah

Now, the prices of gasoline are going up again, the rationale for adopting natural gas cars is gaining more momentum. In this article Sen. James Inhofe proposes new bill that promotes the use of natural gas cars. The new bill is called Drive America on Natural Gas Act. Sen. James Inhofe asserts that natural gas cars provide the solution for high gasoline prices. According to him “The promise of natural gas as a mainstream transportation fuel is achievable today -- not 15 or 20 years from now. From Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) powered cars, to semi-trucks running on liquefied natural gas (LNG), no other commercially viable fuel burns cleaner”. Sen. James Inhofe affirms that America has massive reserves of natural gas. The latest report (Sept. 2007) from the Potential Gas Committee at the Colorado School of Mines identifies 82 years of natural gas supply at current rates of production. Canada's reserves hold an additional 40 years' supply. Sen. James Inhofe offers three reasons for using natural gas as transportation fuel. It is abundant, clean and inexpensive. To read more about this, please visit

Many people are disappointed by the insufficient federal government support of natural gas cars

Natural gas is growing in popularity, and is becoming a major energy source for consumers. Even in homes, the gas is pumped through an underground network pipeline. Natural gas cars have the advantage of producing substantially lower pollution emissions than gasoline-run cars. Green reports that natural gas vehicles can actually reduce carbon monoxide emissions by almost 90 percent. The support for natural gas cars is growing among individuals and companies. Among individuals, for example, there is a big the support and funding from people like oil investor T. Boone Pickens for natural gas cars. Companies such as Honda and AT&T have also turned to natural gas cars. Some states and local governments have joined the efforts too. However, the federal government support for natural gas cars seems to be very disappointing. The Department of Energy has just joined the group of supporters with $50 million conditional loan commitment for a startup called The Vehicle Production Group (VPG). This is very disappointing given all the advantages of natural gas cars. The federal government needs to step in and play a major role in the efforts to promote natural gas cars. To read more about this topic, please visit Bader Alsabah

Examining the benefits of using bio-CNG in urban bus operations

Studies showed that exhaust emissions with bio-CNG are much fewer than other kinds of fuel in 2008. In 2004, the Irish government planned to release big amounts of bio-CNG to inspire the first growth of a biofuel marketplace and disturbed the production of pure plant oil, biodiesel and bioethanol in permitted pilot tasks. Many other studies have explored the benefits of bio-CNG, and also completed a work that expressed the local air pollution benefits in monetary terms from hydrogen fuel cell buses, CNG buses and Euro V diesel buses. “These studies presented a quantitative assessment of the local environmental benefits of using each type of bus along a central bus route in Gothenburg.” In order to compute the quantity of emissions produced by the fleet examined, it was necessary to obtain the necessary input data for the COPERT model. Consequently, the results of the estimated emissions from each of the four models estimated over a one year period. Overall the alternative bus fleets formed shows a considerable saving in terms of emissions. A comparison between the three alternatives examined demonstrates that the bus fleet operated using bio-CNG would result in the largest decrease in overall emissions. As for COPERT modeling, the modeled emissions of CO2 for the original fleet was compared to the actual CO2 emitted from the 2008 fleet. This was found using the range of 1400–1450 g of CO2 per kilometer. The margins of error for the COPERT figures compared to the actual were found to be 0.45%, −1.31% and −3.01% for the values of 1400 g/km, 1425 g/km, and 1450 g/km. The sensitivity analysis for the production of the bio-CNG for the bus fleet examined was based on two separate methods, CNG and diesel calculations. The CNG calculation had one variable, the fuel’s energy density, while the diesel calculation had two, the quantity of diesel used and its energy density. In conclusion, the outcome shows a major decline in all contaminants from the use of CNG EEV buses compared to the 2008 fleet for Euro II, III and IV buses. There was a minimum reduction of 70% in emissions of all air pollutants, and a 100% reduction in SO2 and heavy metal emissions due to the fuel used. There was a decrease of 63% in the emission of greenhouse gases when bio-CNG was used instead of CNG. People, in general, should keep this reduction as to pollution coming out of CO2 that contaminates clean air so we have a clean environment and healthy people.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Electric Cars--How Much Does It Cost per Charge? And leaf beats volt in new ranking.

Comparing the battery to gasoline power is not a controversial issue anymore because electrical cars are more efficient. The studies shows that electric cars could save the environment and help the economy. According to a study by Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) The hybrid electric vehicle would cost the equivalent of roughly 75 cents per gallon of gasoline. Gas powered cars  waste about 2/3 of their fuel in excess heat. What that’s mean is every $1.00 you put in the tank, only $0.33 goes to move the car. EV are still expensive these days due to higher cost of the battery technology, and the lack of producers.

The ranking for the volt from the ACEE’s methodology, are trying to measure the environmental impacts of those vehicles to our environment. They have measured it from the manufacture of the vehicles to the owner of the cars. EPA mileage ratings can be used to calculate energy consumption and air pollution. For the electrical cars, allowance is made for pollution from power plants charging the battery.

Full text of articles:

Abdulaziz Alhadlaq

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

safety features

When it comes to electric cars the first thing that I think about is the safety features. This is very important to me because of the risk that I first thought that you would run if you drive one. I thought about the rain, can you drive the electric car in the rain? After all if you put your hair dryer in water then you will electrocute. Upon doing further research on the electric car I have now learned that it is very possible to drive your car in the rain.
When the electric car was built it came with standard features that were introduced to help protect the passengers that were riding in the car. Driving an electric car is no more dangerous than driving a gas powered car. The electric car was built with a number of cut off features. Some of these include breakers that cut off the power in case of a short circuit or electric surge. Also going back to the rain, when a car is submerged in water the breakers also cut off all power and stop the car from running.
The electric car also comes with many of the standard car features such at side impact bars, front and rear crumple zones, safety glass and so much more. When you compare the electric car and the standard car you will often find that they have the same safety features as one another. One of the major one’s that I found to be a very good option is that the electric cars weigh approximately the same and gasoline vehicles. To me this is a great feature to have due to the weight of the car and if in a possible car accident. This also helps to keep cars on the road when the wind is blowing fiercely. When taking a look at the safety ratings the electric/hybrid cars scored high safety numbers. The lowest rating was 4 out of 5. A majority of these cars scored 5 out of 5 when it came to all safety ratings.
All in all the safety rating and features that are available in the gasoline cars and comparable to the electric vehicle. These cars when it comes to safety are very comparable to one another. So if the safety features is what is making you decided from the different cars you now have a harder choice.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Renewable Energy vs. Fossil Fuels

By: Mohammed Alfares

Daily resources of energy such as fossil fuels are decreasing more and more of its availability for use because it is not a renewable energy.  Energies that people can use that are renewable, better for the environment, and there is no shortage of are the sun, wind, and water, also including garbage such as old leftover plants or crops, livestock manure, dead trees and many others that are considered as “biomass”.  These resources can be used for energy such as electricity and fuels which can also be considered as recycling daily resources for better energy efficiency.  

One of the main sources used especially in the United States is sunlight which has a broad range across the country in which can produce at least more than twice the amount of electricity for the entire world.  Just alone in the state of California, it can produce at least 11 percent of the world’s wind electricity and with that being said most clean energy sources can be used to process heat, produce electricity, and provide valuable sources of fuel and chemicals that can be less damaging on the environment.  

With a brighter picture of renewable energy, fuels and emissions released into the environment by factories, vehicles, chemical spills, and other facilities have become a great danger to the atmosphere causing what is now called the “greenhouse affect” which consists of carbon dioxide.  Studies that have been developed have made renewable energy become more affordable today versus 25 years ago.  Prices have dropped tremendously from the 1980’s to today providing a wide range of natural renewable resources any where from wind energy, sun energy, to ethanol fuel energy.  With renewable energy starting to become the best source and almost of daily use, more and more jobs can be created for people to work to create a more efficient and better environment for the world. 

For More Information:

Monday, March 7, 2011

GM takes on Nissan in electric car battle

General Motors and Nissan are going head-to-head for control of the electric car market. The Chevrolet Volt retails for approximately $41,000, while the Nissan Leaf comes in at just under $33,000. The price of the Volt, in particular, was the topic of intense discussion for some time. Both are eligible for a $7,500 federal tax credit and a $5,000 state credit is available in California. Leasing will be an option for both models.

Since the advent of the electric car, price has been a sticking point with consumers. The aim of both automakers is to produce an affordable electric model, something heretofore unavailable in the US market. While the Volt boasts a higher sticker price than the Leaf, it had the advantage of being a plug-in hybrid. It will run on battery power for the first 40 miles of a trip, then switch to gas to power the electric motor. This allays another traditional fear that has plagued electric cars: running out of power when the battery loses juice. By comparison, the Leaf has a range of 100 miles per charge. As such, experts project the Leaf as more of a commuter vehicle, while the Volt can be viewed as a primary vehicle. Questions about range give the Volt a perceived early edge over its Japanese competitor.

Abdulaziz Alhadlaq

Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) is truly a renewable resource

Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) is truly a renewable resource because it is a resource that can be created in a relatively short amount of time in contrast to Petroleum or Coal. Today there are towns in the United States that are built on top of landfills and are powered totally but the synthetic fuel that is created by the landfill. Synthetic fuels include Methane which is also called Natural Gas. Natural Landfill Gas is formed in four phases as depicted in the following graph.
Phase 1: In phase of decomposition, aerobic bacteria consume oxygen while breaking down carbs, proteins, and fats that compose organic waste. This process creates carbon dioxide. Phase 1 can last from weeks to months.
Phase 2: After the oxygen has been consumed the bacteria uses an anaerobic process to convert compounds in to acetic, lactic, and formic acids and alcohols such as methanol and ethanol. The landfill becomes highly acidic and as the acids mix with the moisture in the landfill, nutrients dissolve making nitrogen and phosphorus available to the increasingly diverse species of bacteria in the landfill. These diverse bacteria create gaseous by-products.
Phase 3: Once the anaerobic bacteria consume the organic acids produced in phase 2 the landfill becomes a more neutral environment in which methane-producing bacteria begin to establish themselves. Methanogenic bacteria consume carbon dioxide and acetate.
Phase 4: The gas produced in this phase contains methane, carbon dioxide and other gases such as sulfides. The gas takes as about 20 years to develop but the gas will continue to be emitted for 50 years after the waste is placed in the landfill.

Speight Ph.D., D. Sc., J. G. (2008). Synthetic fuels handbook: properties, process, and performance. : The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

Gas Powered Cars Vs. Hybrid Cars

In the motor vehicle industry, the use of hybrid cars has gained popularity over the last few years. Instead of driving cars that are exclusively powered by fossil-fuels, more people are finding it better to drive hybrid cars, which are partly gasoline-powered and partly electric. A hybrid car is assembled in such a way that it makes use of both a combustion gas engine and electric motors that derive their power from rechargeable batteries, which are extremely important in increasing the fuel efficiency of these vehicles (Vaughan). This kind of cars record higher gas mileages than cars powered exclusively by fossil fuels. For instance, when driving Toyota Prius (which is a popular hybrid car) in a city, the mileage can go as high as fifty one MPG. In comparison, the mileage of a Toyota Camry (which is exclusively gas-powered but of the same size as a Toyota Prius) exposed to similar conditions is only about 21 MPG. Though the very first hybrid vehicles scored poorly in terms of power and responsiveness as compared to conventional gas powered vehicles, the latest hybrid cars have impressive power and responsiveness scores. Hybrid cars are also more environmental friendly as they consume less fossil fuel and thus produce fewer emissions (Vaughan). The size of hybrid cars is not necessarily small and they are more costly (by about $3000-$6000) than conventional gas-powered vehicles. However, the government, in its endeavor to cut down on the use of fossil fuels, offers subsidies in terms of tax credits to those buying hybrid cars. Generally, hybrid cars need fewer repairs than conventional cars.

 By: Rakan AlShaye

Natural Gas Vehicles

NGVs were invented about forty years ago and they have been around since then. In certain countries, the use of NGVs started before the 1970s. However, their use has not been uniform – they are popular in certain regions and unpopular in others. The usage of NGVs in the United States, some regions in Western Europe and much of Asia has been restricted to commercial purposes. However, there exist a considerable number of countries where NGVs have dual purposes (both commercial and personal use). The popularity of NGVs in these countries can be attributed to factors such as availability of cheaper natural gas, consequently leading to a decrease in oil imports, and the obvious benefit of reduced emissions. Pike Research performed a detailed analysis of both the prospects and shortcomings facing the NGV industry. They predicted that this industry would grow at 7.9% yearly from the current 12.6 million units to an estimated 19.9 units by the year 2016. They do not envisage that refueling stations will be erected at a similar rate. However, they forecast that by the year 2016, there will be at least twenty six thousand refueling stations around the world. The report prepared provides an insight into NGV-related issues including NGV technologies, the storage and transportation of natural gas, government laws that hinder or spur the industry, and major factors that contribute to the expansion of the NGV industry.

BY: Rakan AlShaye

Our most powerful energy solution?

What will be the principal contributing factor in the quest to provide the world with sufficient energy? Though most people would probably answer this question by saying that energy sources such as solar, nuclear or oil are the correct solutions to satisfying the energy demands of the globe, the right answer is increased efficiency in the way people use energy. People may be surprised by this notion, but the simple truth is that technologies that increase efficiency and allow people to accomplish the same or even more tasks while conserving energy are the ultimate answer to the nagging question of satisfying global energy demands while at the same time reducing emissions. ExxonMobil research forecasts a sixty five percent reduction in the growth of energy needs worldwide as a result of increased efficiency. Ordinarily, without any effort towards an increase in efficiency of energy use, worldwide energy needs would increase by an estimated a hundred percent due to an increase in population and expansion of world economies. However, this increase will only be about 35% due to increased efficiency (Cohen). People tend to overlook this factor because efficiency is not a physical, touchable commodity like oil or gas. Also, people tend to look at the situation on a local scale, that is, they tend to look at the efficiency of their light bulbs and other electrical home appliances. However, when this efficiency is taken on a global scale, its impact is enormous.

 By: Rakan Al Shaye

What does it mean to be green?

Though the government has made great strides in developing a precise definition and policy guidelines for offering financial support to the green jobs sector, the issue is still debatable. During the month of March, 2011, the Department of Labor queried the government on its guidelines towards defining and computing a measure for green jobs (Cohen). This happened after the government had provided a stimulus package for this department. The following month, the Department of Commerce sought to clarify the issue by coming up with 2 definitions – broad and narrow (Cohen). Though the issue is still hotly debated, most people agree that future of green jobs heavily relies on government will and aid. One organization said that the green jobs sector would collapse were it not for government incentives and funding. However, it is my honest opinion that the government should not create jobs that cannot sustain themselves; rather, the government should focus on the long-term viability of jobs in the quest to solve environmental and economic hardships (Cohen). To me, anything green should have this aspect. Therefore, natural gas, though a fossil fuel, is sustainable in the long term (Cohen). As such, I would classify it as ‘green’.
 By: Rakan AlShaye

Sunday, March 6, 2011

What is a Natural Gas Vehicle?

By: Mohammed Alfares

Natural gas vehicles or NGV’s were designed to run specifically on natural gas to help lower costs without having to have two fueling systems.  With this advantage, natural gas vehicles can have more storage space and have lighter weight than with regular or conventional fueled vehicles.  However, a new study has been conducted by using the combination of compressed natural gas with hydrogen to explore the possibilities of better efficiency.  Natural gas vehicles provide low emissions, costs for both fuel and the vehicle itself, and better performance than the bi-fuel vehicles.  

With the benefit of these types of vehicles, some owners have reported that these vehicles last two times longer than the conventional fueled vehicle and have lower amounts of maintenance and harmful emissions polluted into the environment.  However, natural gas vehicles can be comparable with conventional fueled vehicles for cruise speed, acceleration, and horsepower.  

With that being said, natural gas vehicles can not be compared with conventional fueled vehicles because NGV’s have lower amounts of energy content in the natural gas substance.  Natural gas vehicles can use two different fuels which are compressed natural gas or liquefied natural gas which have been stated in the Energy Policy Act of 1992 and are also qualified for alternative vehicles under the vehicle Tax Credits.

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Saturday, March 5, 2011

Save Money on Gas: Buy a Natural Gas-Fueled Car

Natural gas powered-cars are becoming an increasingly attractive alternative to those seeking to lessen their impact on the environment and/or to escape the ongoing havoc at the pump. Honda is planning to roll out the Civic GX (previously available in only four states) at dealerships nationwide this year. It tops the list of greenest cars published by the American Council for an Energy Efficient Fuel Economy – besting electric cars and hybrids. It boasts no air-polluting emissions and is low on greenhouse gases.
         Natural gas is much more economical than traditional gasoline, ranging from $1-2.50 per gallon versus a national average of $3.25 for gasoline. As natural gas is a leaner-burning fuel, maintenance costs are lower than for traditional cars. Drivers of natural gas cars are also able to use car pool lanes, even if there is only one vehicle occupant.
Limitations do exist. Of course, sparse availability of filling stations is a major issue, although that is expected to change as popularity rises. The list price of over $25,000 for the Civic GX (some states do offer tax credits) can deter some buyers, as well.
         There is precedence for success for the natural gas vehicle: Brazil, for example, has 1.5 million on the road. In a crowded automotive landscape, it will be fascinating to witness how the American public reacts to widespread availability of natural gas cars.

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Abdulaziz Alhadlaq