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Aftermarket Conversion
A standard, conventionally fueled, factory-produced vehicle to which equipment has been added that enables the vehicle to operate on an alternative fuel.

Alcohols (CH3-(CH2)n-OH)
The family name of a group of organic chemical compounds composed of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. The series of molecules vary in chain length and are composed of a hydrocarbon, plus a hydroxyl group (for example, methanol, ethanol, and tertiary butyl alcohol).

One of several families of compounds formed as products of incomplete combustion in engines using gasoline, methanol, ethanol, propane, or natural gas as fuels. As a general rule of thumb, the presence of methanol or methyl ethers in the fuel will lead to formaldehyde as the primary aldehyde in the exhaust, while ethanol or ethyl ethers will lead to acetaldehyde as the primary aldehyde in the exhaust. In both cases, other aldehydes are present, but in much smaller quantities. Formaldehyde and acetaldehyde are toxic and possibly carcinogenic.

Alternative Fuel
As defined pursuant to the EPACT, methanol, denatured ethanol, and other alcohols, separately or in mixtures of 85 percent by volume or more (or other percentage not less than 70 as determined by DOE rule) with gasoline or other fuels, CNG, LNG, LPG, hydrogen, coal-derived liquid fuels, fuels other than alcohols derived from biological materials, electricity, or any other fuel determined to be substantially not petroleum and yielding substantial energy security benefits and substantial environmental benefits.

Alternative-Fueled Vehicle
A vehicle either designed and manufactured by an original equipment manufacturer or a converted vehicle designed to operate in either dual-fuel, flexible-fuel, or dedicated modes on fuels other than gasoline or diesel. This does not include a conventional vehicle that is limited to operation on blended or reformulated gasoline fuels.

Alternative-Fueled Vehicle Converter
An organization (including companies, government agencies, and utilities), or an individual who performs conversions involving alternative fueled vehicles. An AFV converter can convert (1) conventionally fueled vehicles to AFV's, (2) AFV's to conventionally fueled vehicles, or (3) AFV's to another alternative fuel.

Bi-Fuel Vehicle
A vehicle with two separate fuel systems designed to run on either an alternative fuel or conventional fuel using only one fuel at a time.

Any liquid biofuel suitable as a diesel fuel substitute or diesel fuel additive or extender. A diesel substitute made from transesterification of oils of vegetables such as soybeans, rapeseed, or sunflowers (end product known as methyl ester) or from animal tallow (end product known as methyl tallowate). Biodiesel can also be made by transesterification of hydrocarbons produced by the Fisher-Tropsch process from agricultural byproducts such as rice hulls.

Carbon Cycle
All reservoirs and fluxes of carbon; usually thought of as a series of the four main reservoirs of carbon interconnected by pathways of exchange. The four reservoirs, regions of the Earth in which carbon behaves in a systematic manner, are the atmosphere, terrestrial biosphere (usually includes freshwater systems), oceans, and sediments (includes fossil fuels). Each of these global reservoirs may be subdivided into smaller pools ranging in size from individual communities or ecosystems to the total of all living organisms (biota). Carbon exchanges from reservoir to reservoir by various chemical, physical, geological, and biological processes.

Carbon Dioxide (CO2)
A colorless, odorless, nonpoisonous gas that is a normal part of the ambient air. Carbon dioxide is a product of fossil fuel combustion. Although CO2 does not directly impair human health, it is a greenhouse gas that traps the earth's heat and contributes to the potential for global warming.

Carbon Monoxide (CO)
A colorless, odorless gas slightly lighter than air. It is poisonous if inhaled, in that it combines with blood hemoglobin to prevent oxygen transfer. It is produced by the incomplete combustion of fossil fuels with a limited oxygen supply (as in automobiles). It is a major component of urban air pollution, which can be reduced by the blending of an oxygen-bearing compound such as alcohols and ethers into hydrocarbon fuels.

Chlorofluorocarbons (CFC's)
A family of inert, nontoxic, and easily liquified chemicals used in refrigeration, air conditioning, packaging, and insulation, or as solvents or aerosol propellants. Because they are not destroyed in the lower atmosphere, they drift into the upper atmosphere where their chlorine components destroy ozone.

Clean Alternative Fuel
Any fuel (including methanol, ethanol, or other alcohols (including any mixture thereof containing 85 percent or more by volume of such alcohol with gasoline or other fuels), reformulated gasoline, diesel, natural gas, liquefied petroleum gases, and hydrogen) or power source (including electricity) used in a clean fuel vehicle that complies with the standards and requirements of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990.

Compressed Natural Gas (CNG)
Natural gas compressed to a volume and density that is practical as a portable fuel supply (even when compressed, natural gas is not a liquid).

Carbon Monoxide Nonattainment Area
Areas with carbon monoxide design values of 9.5 parts per million or more (generally based on data for 1988 and 1989).

Converted Vehicle
A vehicle originally designed to operate on gasoline that has been modified or altered to operate on an alternative fuel.

Criteria Pollutant
A pollutant determined to be hazardous to human health and regulated under the Environmental Protection Agency's National Ambient Air Quality Standards. The 1970 amendments to the Clean Air Act require the Environmental Protection Agency to describe the health and welfare impacts of a pollutant as the criteria for inclusion in the regulatory regime.

Dedicated Vehicle
A vehicle designed to operate solely on one alternative fuel.

Diesel Fuel
A complex mixture of hydrocarbons with a boiling range between approximately 350 and 650 degrees Fahrenheit. Diesel fuel (simply referred to as "diesel") is composed primarily of paraffins and naphthenic compounds that auto-ignite from the heat of compression in a diesel engine. Diesel is used mainly by heavy-duty road vehicles, construction equipment, locomotives, and by marine and stationary engines.

Dual-Fuel Vehicle
A vehicle designed to operate on a combination of alternative fuel, such as LNG or LPG, and conventional fuel, such as gasoline or diesel. These vehicles have two separate fuel systems which inject both fuels simultaneously into the engine combustion chamber.

A fuel containing a mixture of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline.

A fuel containing a mixture of 95 percent ethanol and 5 percent gasoline.

Energy Efficiency
The inverse of energy intensiveness: the ratio of energy outputs from a process to the energy inputs (for example, miles traveled per gallon of fuel).

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
A government agency, established in 1970. Its responsibilities include the regulation of fuels and fuel additives.

Ethyl Tertiary Butyl Ether (ETBE), (CH3)3COC2H5
A colorless, flammable, oxygenated hydrocarbon blend stock formed by the catalytic etherification of isobutylene with ethanol.

Ethanol (C2H5OH)
Otherwise known as ethyl alcohol, alcohol, or grain-spirit. A clear, colorless, flammable oxygenated hydrocarbon with a boiling point of 78.5 degrees Celsius in the anhydrous state. However, it forms a binary azeotrope with water, with a boiling point of 78.15 degrees Celsius at a composition of 95.57 percent by weight ethanol. It is used in the United States as a gasoline octane enhancer and oxygenate (10 percent concentration). Ethanol can also be used in high concentrations in vehicles optimized for its use.

The family name applied to a group of organic chemical compounds composed of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen, and which are characterized by an oxygen atom attached to two carbon atoms (for example, methyl tertiary butyl ether).

Flexible-Fuel Vehicle
A vehicle with the ability to operate on alternative fuels (such as M85 or E85), 100 percent traditional fuels, or a mixture of alternative fuel and traditional fuels.

Global Warming
The theoretical escalation of global temperatures caused by the greenhouse effect.

Greenhouse Effect
A popular term used to describe the roles of water vapor, carbon dioxide, and other trace gases in keeping the Earth's surface warmer than it would be otherwise. These radiatively active gases are relatively transparent to incoming shortwave radiation, but are relatively opaque to outgoing long wave radiation. The latter radiation, which would otherwise escape to space, is trapped by these gases within the lower levels of the atmosphere. The subsequent reradiation of some of the energy back to the Earth maintains the surface at temperatures higher than they would be if the gases were absent.

Greenhouse Gases
Those gases, such as water vapor, carbon dioxide, tropospheric ozone, nitrous oxide, and methane, that are transparent to solar radiation but opaque to long wave radiation. Their action is similar to that of increased humidity in a greenhouse. Gross Vehicle Weight Rating: The weight of the empty vehicle plus the maximum anticipated load weight.

Heavy Duty Vehicles
Pursuant to the EPACT, trucks and buses having a gross vehicle weight rating of 8,500 pounds or more.

Hydrogen (H2)
The lightest of all gases, the element (hydrogen) occurs chiefly in combination with oxygen in water. It also exists in acids, bases, alcohols, petroleum, and other hydrocarbons.

Light Duty Vehicles
Automobiles and trucks having a gross vehicle weight rating of less than 8,500 pounds.

Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG)
Natural gas that has been refrigerated to temperatures at which it exists in a liquid state.

Liquefied Petroleum Gases (LPG)
Propane, propylene, normal butane, butylene, isobutane, and isobutylene produced at refineries or natural gas processing plants (includes plants that fractionate raw natural gas plant liquids).

Lower Heating Value (LHV)
The Btu content per unit of fuel excluding the heat from the condensation of water vapor in the fuel.

A fuel containing a mixture of 85 percent methanol and 15 percent gasoline. M100 100 percent (neat) methanol.

Methane (CH4)
The simplest of the hydrocarbons and the chief constituent of natural gas. Methane, a gas at normal temperatures and pressures, boils at -263 degrees Fahrenheit.

Methanol (CH3OH)
A colorless liquid with essentially no odor and very little taste. The simplest alcohol, it boils at 64.7 degrees Celsius. It is miscible with water and most organic liquids (including gasoline) and is extremely flammable, burning with a nearly invisible blue flame. Methanol is produced commercially by the catalyzed reaction of hydrogen and carbon monoxide. It was formerly derived from the destructive distillation of wood, which caused it to be known as wood alcohol.

Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether (MTBE), (CH3)3COCH3
A colorless, flammable, liquid oxygenated hydrocarbon that contains 18.15 percent oxygen and has a boiling point of 55.2 degrees Celsius. It is a fuel oxygenate produced by reacting methanol with isobutylene.

Motor Gasoline Blending of Oxygenates
Blending of gasoline and oxygenates under the Environmental Protection Agency's "Substantially Similar" Interpretive Rule (56 FR [February 11, 1991]).

Natural Gas
A mixture of hydrocarbon compounds and small quantities of various nonhydrocarbons existing in the gaseous phase or in solution with crude oil in natural underground reservoirs at reservoir conditions. The primary constituent compound is CH4. Gas coming from wells also can contain significant amounts of ethane, propane, butanes, and pentanes, and widely varying amounts of carbon dioxide and nitrogen. Pipeline-quality natural gas has had most, but not all natural gas liquids and other contaminants removed. On board a vehicle, it is stored under high pressure at 2,500 to 3,600 pounds per square inch (psi). A gallon of natural gas at 2,000 psi contains about 20,000 Btu; at 3,600 psi, a gallon contains about 30,000 Btu.

Neat Alcohol Fuels
Straight alcohol (not blended with gasoline) that may be either in the form of ethanol or methanol. Ethanol, as a neat alcohol fuel, does not need to be at 200 proof; therefore, it is often used at 180 to 190 proof (90 to 95 percent). Most methanol fuels are not strictly "neat," since 5 to 10 percent gasoline is usually blended in to improve its operational efficiency.

Nitrogen Oxides (NOx)
Air-polluting gases contained in automobile emissions, which are regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency. They comprise colorless nitrous oxide (N2O) (otherwise known as dinitrogen monoxide, or as the anaesthetic "laughing gas"), colorless nitric oxide (NO), and the reddish-brown-colored nitrogen dioxide (NO2). Nitric oxide is very unstable, and on exposure to air it is readily converted to nitrogen dioxide, which has an irritating odor and is very poisonous. Nitrogen dioxide contributes to the brownish layer in the atmospheric pollution over some metropolitan areas. Other nitrogen oxides of less significance are nitrogen tetroxide (N2O4) and nitrogen pentoxide (N2O5). Nitrogen oxides are sometimes collectively referred to as "NOx" where "x" represents any proportion of oxygen to nitrogen.

Nonattainment Area
A region that exceeds minimum acceptable National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for one or more criteria pollutants, in high population density areas, in accordance with the U.S. Census Bureau population statistics. Such regions (areas) are required to seek modifications to their State Implementation Plans, setting forth a reasonable timetable using means (approved by the Environmental Protection Agency) to achieve attainment of NAAQS by a certain date. Under the Clean Air Act, if a nonattainment area fails to attain NAAQS, the Environmental Protection Agency may superimpose a Federal Implementation Plan with stricter requirements or impose fines, construction bans, or cutoffs in Federal grant revenues until the area achieves applicable NAAQS.

Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM's)
Vehicle manufacturers that provide the original design and materials for assembly and manufacture of their product. They are directly responsible for manufacturing and modifying vehicles, making the vehicles commercially available, and providing a warranty for the finished product.

Oxygenated Fuel
Any fuel substance containing oxygen (includes oxygen-bearing compounds such as ethanol and methanol). Oxygenated fuel tends to give a more complete combustion of its carbon into carbon dioxide (rather than monoxide), thereby reducing air pollution from exhaust emissions.

Oxygenated Gasoline
Gasoline with an oxygen content of 1.8 percent or higher, by weight, that has been formulated for use in motor vehicles.

Ozone (O3)
An oxygen molecule with 3 oxygen atoms that occurs as a blue, harmful, pungent-smelling gas at room temperature. The stratospheric ozone layer, which is a concentration of ozone molecules located at 6 to 30 miles above sea level, is in a state of dynamic equilibrium. Ultraviolet radiation forms the ozone from oxygen, but can also reduce the ozone back to oxygen. The process absorbs most of the ultraviolet radiation from the sun, shielding life from the harmful effects of radiation. Tropospheric ozone is normally present at the ground level in low concentrations. In cities where high levels of air pollutants are present, the action of the sun's ultraviolet light can, through a complex series of reactions, produce a harmful concentration of ozone in the air. The resulting air pollution is known as photochemical smog. Certain air pollutants (e.g., chlorofluorocarbons) can drift up into the atmosphere and damage the balance between ozone production and destruction, resulting in a reduced concentration of ozone in the layer.

Ozone Precursor
A chemical compound (such as nitrogen oxides, methane, nonmethane hydrocarbons and hydroxyl radicals) that, in the presence of solar radiation, reacts with other chemical compounds to form ozone.

A generic term applied to oil and oil products in all forms (such as crude oil, lease condensate, unfinished oil, refined petroleum products, natural gas plant liquids, and finished petroleum products).

Propane (C3H8)
A normally gaseous straight-chain hydrocarbon, it is a colorless paraffinic gas that boils at a temperature of -43.67 degrees Fahrenheit. It is extracted from natural gas or refinery gas streams.

Reformulated Gasoline (RFG)
Gasoline whose composition has been changed (from that of gasolines sold in 1990) to 1) include oxygenates, 2) reduce the content of olefins and aromatics and volatile components, and 3) reduce the content of heavy hydrocarbons to meet performance specifications for ozone-forming tendency and for release of toxic substances (benzene, formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, 1,3-butadiene, and polycyclic organic matter) into the air from both evaporation and tailpipe emissions.

Replacement Fuel
The portion of any motor fuel that is methanol, ethanol, or other alcohols, natural gas, liquefied petroleum gases, hydrogen, coal derived liquid fuels, electricity (including electricity from solar energy), ethers, or any other fuel the Secretary of Energy determines, by rule, is substantially not petroleum and would yield substantial energy security benefits and substantial environmental benefits.

Tax Incentives
In general, a means of employing the tax code to stimulate investment in or development of a socially desirable economic objective without the direct expenditure from the budget of a given unit of government. Such incentives can take the form of tax exemptions or credits.

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