Award Date

Spring 1999

Degree Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Environmental Science

Advisor 1

E. Paul Richitt, Jr. J.D. Assistant Professor, Department of Environmental Studies

Number of Pages



Automobile exhaust is a major contributor of harmful air pollutants. Exhaust emissions include water (H2O), carbon dioxide (CO2), carbon monoxide (CO), nitrous oxides (NOX), sulfur oxides (SOX), hydrocarbons (HC), and particulate matter (PM), and of these the four major air pollutants are CO, HC, NOX, and PM. Particulate matter is predominantly emitted from diesel fuel burning vehicles. In order to aid in reduction of air pollution, and reduce dependence on foreign oil imports, federal legislation has been enacted. The two prominent acts are the National Energy Security Act in 1992, which mandates use of alternative fuels, and the Clean Air Act Amendments in 1990, which require compliance to ambient air quality standards. The alternative fuels that will be discussed in this paper are methanol, ethanol, electricity, hydrogen, reformulated gasoline, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG)/propane, and natural gas. The research data shows that natural gas is considered the best choice as an alternative fuel. Some of the advantages of natural gas are it requires no refining, minor processing, burns cleaner, provides more heat per unit weight than any other fossil fuel, and is less expensive than its primary competitor gasoline. Furthermore, the infrastructure to supply and provide services to the fleet vehicles is established and its conversion technology has been proven. Natural gas is a fuel that is being phased into government and private company fleets, and eventually can be the fuel of choice for the public.


Air pollution Motor vehicles alternative fuels; Natural gas


Environmental Sciences | Oil, Gas, and Energy

File Format


Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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