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Alternative Fuels for Vehicles

Mark P. Rossow, PhD, PE Retired

Course Outline

This two-hour online course describes the advantages and disadvantage of alternative fuels currently being considered for powering vehicles.

This course includes a multiple-choice quiz at the end, which is designed to enhance the understanding of the course materials.

Learning Objective

This course teaches the following specific knowledge and skills:

Intended Audience

This course is intended for civil, mechanical, and transportation engineers, and would be of particular interest to engineers serving on governmental planning boards or concerned with maintaining fleet operations for a private company or for the military.

Benefit to Attendees

An attendee would gain sufficient knowledge about alternative vehicular fuels to be able to contribute to planning and design of transportation facilities where such fuels would be involved.

Course Introduction

For a variety of reasons—political, security, environmental—policy makers currently are interested in finding alternatives to gasoline for powering vehicles.  The most frequently mentioned alternative fuels are biodiesel, electricity, ethanol blended with gasoline, hydrogen, natural gas, and propane.  This course discusses the advantages and disadvantages of each.

Course Content

This course is based on documents distributed by the Alternative Fuels and Advanced Vehicles Data Center of the Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, U. S. Department of Energy.  For convenience the documents have been collected into a single pdf file.

Alternative Fuels for Vehicles

Please click on the above underlined hypertext to view, download or print the document for your study. Because of the large file size, we recommend that you first save the file to your computer by right clicking the mouse and choosing "Save Target As ...", and then open the file in Adobe Acrobat Reader. If you still experience any difficulty in downloading or opening this file, you may need to close some applications or reboot your computer to free up some memory.

Course Summary

This course presents an overview of six alternative fuels used for vehicles: biodiesel, electricity, ethanol blended with gasoline, hydrogen, natural gas, and propane.

Related Links

For additional technical information related to this subject, please visit the following websites or web pages:


Once you finish studying the above course content, you need to take a quiz to obtain the PDH credits.

DISCLAIMER: The materials contained in the online course are not intended as a representation or warranty on the part of PDH Center or any other person/organization named herein. The materials are for general information only. They are not a substitute for competent professional advice. Application of this information to a specific project should be reviewed by a registered architect and/or professional engineer/surveyor. Anyone making use of the information set forth herein does so at their own risk and assumes any and all resulting liability arising therefrom.