Environmental Engineering Reference
Alternative Motor Fuels Act (AMFA) and the 1990 amendments to the
Clean Air Act (of 1970).
The AMFA had demonstration programs to promote the use of al-
ternative fuels and alternative-fuel vehicles. The act also offered credits to
automakers for producing alternative-fuel vehicles and incentives to en-
courage federal agencies to use these vehicles.
The 1990 amendments to the Clean Air Act covered a range of pol-
lution issues. New cars sold from 1994 on were required to emit about
30% less hydrocarbons and 60% less nitrogen-oxide pollutants from the
tailpipe than earlier cars. New cars were also to have diagnostic capabili-
ties for alerting the driver to malfunctioning emission-control equipment.
In October 1993 oil refiners were required to reduce the amount of sul-
fur in diesel fuel. Starting in the winter of 1992/1993, oxygen was added
to reduce carbon monoxide emissions to all gasoline sold during winter
months in any city with carbon monoxide problems. In 1996 auto com-
panies were to sell 150,000 cars in California that had emission levels of
one-half compared with the other new cars. This was increased to 300,000
a year in 1999 and in 2001 the emission levels were reduced by half again.
Starting in 1998 a percentage of new vehicles purchased for centrally fu-
eled fleets in 22 polluted cities had to meet tailpipe standards that were
about one-third of those for passenger cars.
If alternative fuels are to be more widely used, changes must take place
both in fuel infrastructure, storage and engine technology. Infrastructural
changes will improve the availability of alternative fuels. This may be done
by the modification of existing filling stations and by establishing a distribu-
tion system that is as efficient as the current gasoline system.
Technological changes in the manufacture of power sources are re-
quired if they are to run on alternative fuels. The development of alter-
native fuels depends on automotive manufacturers making alternative
fuel engines available while fuel suppliers produce and distribute fuels
for these vehicles. Flexible fuel vehicles (FFVs), which are also known as
variable fuel vehicles, (VFVs) are designed to use several fuels. Most of
the major automobile manufacturers have developed FFV prototypes and
many of these use ethanol or methanol as well as gasoline.
More flexible-fuel vehicles are available as manufacturers move