Transportation Energy Research -
Alternative Fuels

Despite advancements in clean vehicle technologies, the vast majority of on-road vehicles in 2020 and beyond are expected to use conventional style combustion technology such as gasoline and diesel. To meet the state's petroleum and greenhouse gas emission reductions goals, sustainable and commercially viable alternative combustion fuels are needed to power California's current and future fleets of vehicles.

beaker pouring fuel

The Alternative Fuels focus area supports research to develop advanced biofuels that can serve as sustainable replacements to conventional petroleum-based motor fuels. Emphasis is placed on fuels that are designed and engineered to be compatible with existing vehicles and infrastructure, eliminating the need for costly and disruptive fueling infrastructure investments and engine modifications.

To date the Alternative Fuels focus area has:

  • Partnered with the NASA Ames Research Center to further develop and demonstrate the Algae OMEGA system.
  • Established the California Initiative for Large Molecule Sustainable Fuels at UC San Diego.
  • Demonstrated a bench-scale Steam Hydrogasification process capable of converting municipal waste to bio-diesel and bio-gasoline.
  • Partnered with the Altamont Landfill and Resource Recovery Facility to demonstrate a process that turns landfill gas into transportation fuel.

See Final Reports and Publications

See Fact Sheets for ongoing and recent projects

Research Highlights