Close up of car wheel.

Developing solutions for low emission fuels

Transport is the third largest emitter of greenhouse gases in Australia behind energy generation and agriculture. CSIRO researchers are undertaking a comprehensive research program that could lead to a low emission transport future.

  • 2 March 2009 | Updated 14 October 2011

Background

Oil prices continue to rise, awareness is growing about ‘peak oil’ and consumers are become increasingly conscious of the environmental impacts of using fossil fuels.

Does this mean it’s time to hang up the petrol pumps and look for a more sustainable option?

CSIRO’s alternative transport fuels (ATF) research explores the feasibility of alternatives to traditional fuel types, such as petrol or diesel, and looks at the possible biophysical, social and economic impacts of their production and adoption.

The research

CSIRO’s ATF research covers a broad range of options for our transport fuel future, including:

  • biofuels
  • synthetic fuels (coal to liquid and gas to liquid conversion)
  • hydrogen as a fuel source
  • scoping studies and assessments to determine the viability of different fuel types.

The research seeks to answer vital questions such as:

CSIRO’s alternative transport fuels (ATF) research explores the feasibility of alternatives to traditional fuel types.
  • how much of each alternative fuel could Australia produce?
  • what would be the cost and impacts of using different mixes of alternative fuels?
  • what constraints might there be to production and adoption of various fuels?
  • what are the long-term sustainable options for fuelling our transport systems?
  • how might a staged adoption of particular alternative fuels at particular times help our transition to these long-term solutions?

ATF work is conducted as part of the Energy Transformed National Research Flagship’s Low Emissions Transport theme and aligns with the Flagship’s objective to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the energy sector.

Find out more about the Future Fuels Forum.