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DOE Alternative Fuels for Vehicles (2 credit hours/2 HSW Hours)
This 2 hour course presents an overview of six alternative fuels used for vehicles: biodiesel, electricity, ethanol blended with gasoline, hydrogen, natural gas, and propane. In each case a description is given of the physical properties of the fuel, its source (what it is produced from), its environmental advantages and disadvantages, its effectiveness as a power source for a vehicle, its current availability (including its distribution system), and any characteristic problems which are unique to it. Included are fact sheets distributed by the Alternative Fuels and Advanced Vehicles Data Center of the U.S. Dept. of Energy. An engineer completing the course will possess useful, general scientific knowledge of the current state-of-the-art of alternative fuels without having to spend considerable time developing specialized knowledge of each fuel.
' US Department of Energy
This course teaches the following specific knowledge and skills:
  
  • The student will learn about the use of biodiesel as a vehicle fuel.
  • The student will become familiar with the characteristics of hybrid and plug-in electric vehicles.
  • The student will learn about the performance advantages and disadvantages of flexible fuel vehicles (ethanol and gasoline) and of hydrogen fuel cells used to power a vehicle. 
  • The student will become familiar with the use of natural gas and propane as a vehicle fuel.

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