A clean drive

Published: Saturday 15 November 1997

-- As the number of vehicles produced around the world increase every year, so does the pollution from these vehicles. The number of automobiles on the roads around the world have increased around ten-fold in the past 50 years. Analysts predict that the number will double in the next 25 years. Now, many countries are experimenting with alternatives to gasoline and diesel fuel in an attempt to reduce harmful emissions. These alternatives are liquefied petroleum gas extracted from natural gas; compressed natural gas derived from gas wells or in conjunction with crude oil production; Ethanol, derived from biomass and Methanol which is derived from natural gas, biomass or coal.

Eco-friendly fuels
Number of vehicles using various types of fuels
Country Fuel type
CNG* LPG* Ethanol Methanol Electric
Brazil   4,000,000       
Japan 200,000  1,500,000      1,300 
The Netherlands 500  560,000      300 
USA 82,700  273,000  6,200  20,000  4,000 
Italy 300,000        300 
Canada 36,000  160,000    3,000  100 
New Zealand 100,000         
Russia 75,000         
Britain 400        25,000 
China 10,000        1,000 
*CNG: compressed natural gas; LPG: liquefied petroleum gas

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