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ERIC Number: EJ1013610
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Apr
Pages: 6
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0021-9584
Sustainable Mobility, Future Fuels, and the Periodic Table
Wallington, Timothy J.; Anderson, James E.; Siegel, Donald J.; Tamor, Michael A.; Mueller, Sherry A.; Winkler, Sandra L.; Nielsen, Ole J.
Journal of Chemical Education, v90 n4 p440-445 Apr 2013
Providing sustainable mobility is a major challenge that will require new vehicle and fuel technologies. Alternative and future fuels are the subject of considerable research and public interest. A simple approach is presented that can be used in science education lectures at the high school or undergraduate level to provide students with an understanding of the elemental composition of future fuels. Starting from key fuel requirements and overlaying the chemical trends evident in the periodic table, it can be demonstrated that future chemical fuels will be based on three elements: carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. Liquid hydrocarbons are the most convenient transportation fuels because of their physical state (easier to handle than gases or solids) and their high gravimetric and volumetric energy densities. Challenges remain for storage of electricity and gaseous fuels. Recognizing the need to address climate change driven by increasing emissions of CO[subscript 2], sustainable mobility will be powered by low-CO[subscript 2] hydrogen, low-CO[subscript 2] hydrocarbons, low-CO[subscript 2] oxygenates, low-CO[subscript 2] electricity, or a combination of the above. (Contains 3 figures.)
Division of Chemical Education, Inc and ACS Publications Division of the American Chemical Society. 1155 Sixteenth Street NW, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 800-227-5558; Tel: 202-872-4600; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A