Aug. 25, 1998 Alternative Fuel In Line To Get DOE Approval
BOSTON, Aug. 23 -- A motor fuel made from corn, paper, wood chips and other biomass waste products produces significantly fewer noxious emissions, according to just released test results, and is being proposed by the Department of Energy to be added to its list of officially recognized alternative fuels. Data from tailpipe emissions testing of the alternative fuel known as P-series were presented here today at the national meeting of the American Chemical Society, the world's largest scientific society, by Princeton University researcher Stephen Paul, developer of the fuel.
Paul's findings demonstrate that the fuel formulation produces 40-50 percent fewer unburned hydrocarbons than gasoline and 20 percent less carbon monoxide. It also has 40 percent less ozone-forming potential and is 2 to 3 times less toxic than gasoline, according to Paul, who works at Princeton's Plasma Physics Laboratory.
P-series fuel blends natural gas liquids, ethanol and biomass materials and, unlike strictly ethanol-based fuels, contains no gasoline. It can power so-called flexible fuel cars already being sold in the U.S., such as many Chrysler Corporation minivans and the 1999 Ford Ranger pickup truck, which have flexible fuel engines as standard equipment. Some other models have flexible fuel engines as an option. This means a consumer can choose whether to fill the tank with gasoline or an alternative liquid fuel containing ethanol, or a combination of both.
Biomass materials constitute about 70 percent of the P-series ingredients. These materials include renewable stock such as corn husks, corn cobs, straw, oat and rice hulls, sugar cane stocks, low-grade waste paper, paper mill waste sludge and wood wastes. "Anything that used to be a carbohydrate can be turned into this," claims Paul.
Dr. Paul acknowledges that alternative fuels have a hard time competing economically with plentiful and relatively inexpensive gasoline. However, he says, his P-series fuel, licensed by Pure Energy Corp. of New York, could serve as a "high volume insurance policy" in the event of another oil crisis, such as occurred during the 1970s. The Department of Energy assistant secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Dan Reicher, echoes that claim.
"P-series fuels have the potential to displace approximately one-billion gallons of gasoline by 2005," Reicher said in announcing a public comment period for a proposed rule that would designate P-series as an alternative fuel. The comment period ends Sept. 28.
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