Sunday, April 6, 2008

Energy Use for Transportation

In many countries, much of the energy we use goes into transportation - cars, planes, trucks, motorcycles, trains, buses. And of all the oil we use much of it goes into making gasoline and diesel fuel for vehicles.

Oil goes through a refinery where it is made into many different products. Some of them are used for transportation: aviation fuel, gasoline and diesel fuel. From the refinery and larger storage space tank farms, transportation fuels are usually trucked to service stations in tanker trucks. These trucks can hold 10,000 gallons in each tank. The tanker trucks distribute the gasoline to the services stations.

At service stations, the two grades of gasoline, regular and premium, are kept in separate underground storage tanks. When you pump the gasoline into your car, you are pumping it from those tanks below ground. Mid-grade gasoline is a blend of the two types. Other vehicles, such as trucks and some cars use diesel fuel, which is also made from oil. It is brought to service stations the same means.

Burning gasoline, however, creates air smog. That's why oil companies are creating newer types of gasoline that are cleaner than the kind we use today. Because of concerns about air pollution and petroleum-dependence, new clean-burning fuels made from fuels other than oil are being established. These fuels comprise methanol, ethanol, natural gas, propane and even electricity. All these fuels are called alternative fuels because they are a substitute or alternative to gasoline and diesel. Cars and trucks that use them are called Alternative Fuel Vehicles or AFVs.

Right now, there are only a small quantity of cars and trucks that are running on fuels other than gasoline and diesel. People need more and more portions of the vehicles run on alternative fuels.

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