Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Systems Engineering and Management

First Advisor

Charles A. Bleckmann, PhD.


he United States has dramatically increased its production of alternative fuels over the past seven years. With the passing of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA), alternative fuel production will increase in the United States over 700% from 2005 levels. However, the pursuit of petroleum alternatives is not a recent trend. Over the last 100 years, various nations have pursued petroleum alternatives with varying levels of success. This research focuses on the historical development of 10 leading alternative fuels and feedstocks. Through a thorough literature review we will identify commonalities among these fuels and feedstocks which have hindered their adoption. Further, the research evaluates the 10 alternative fuels and feedstocks with text mining software to support findings from the literature review. This research finds that alternative fuels face significant challenges with regards to environmental impacts, technological maturity, and societal costs. Further, these petroleum alternatives have rarely been economical solutions. The research findings suggest that while there are National Security reasons for pursuing petroleum alternatives, rarely are there economic ones.

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