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浏览次数: 日期:2015年3月27日 15:22

Cheryl Bikowski: Alternative fuel options for forklifts


Cheryl Bikowski is the marketing communications supervisor at Gamber-Johnson. Gamber-Johnson provides top-of-the-line forklift mounting systems to businesses in the materials handling industry.



Increasing fuel costs and growing support for eco-friendly production practices are driving large and small companies alike to consider ways to green their operations. Alternative fuel sources can cut harmful emissions and reduce costs when used in workplace vehicles. As such, they should be considered by any business that is looking to reduce costs.




Benefits of using alternative fuel
Companies can realise many benefits by switching to a renewable fuel source, including:
• Improved fuel efficiency: Alternative fuels offer better efficiency than traditional fuels, which means that lift trucks can perform for longer on one tank of fuel. Across a large operation, this can have a big impact.





l       提高燃料效率:可替代燃料比传统燃料有着更高的使用效率。这意味着,叉车可以在一罐燃料的情况下工作时间更长。


• Lowered costs: Better fuel efficiency translates to reduced costs for vehicle operation. Over time, this recoups the monies spent on new lift trucks and translates to savings for the company.

l       更低成本:较好的燃料效率意味着可以降低成本,随着时间增长,在一台新的叉车上会回收成本并且为公司转化为节省的金钱。
• Public goodwill: Companies which embrace green technology can receive a boost in the public perception for their environmental activism.

l       公众的意愿:那些使用绿色环保技术的公司,将会在环境保护的公众认知上取得积极的印象。
• Environmental benefits: Switching to alternative energy sources will emit less greenhouse gas and air pollutants, reduce domestic dependence on foreign oil and boost the local economy.

l       环境保护收益:切换为可替代燃料,会减少温室气体排放以及大气污染,减少对进口燃料的依赖性并且带动本地经济的发展。

Types of alternative fuel
While there are many different types of alternative fuel, not all are well suited for lift trucks. At present, fuel options include:



• Biogas (RNG or renewable natural gas): Biogas is a natural byproduct of anaerobic digestion of organic matter. As such, it is easily renewable and can turn organic matter from landfills, livestock and wastewater into fuel. Biogas is seen as a green option because it captures methane that would otherwise be introduced into the atmosphere, creates local jobs and offers an alternative to fossil fuels.

l       沼气(RNG或者可再生的天然气):沼气是有机物发生厌氧分解的副产物,并且很容易通过填埋气、牲畜粪便以及废水等再生处理而得到。沼气被视为是一种绿色能源因为其包含甲烷,而甲烷则可以无害排放到大气中。可以增加当地就业机会以及提供化学工业燃料。

• Natural gas: There are two main types of natural gas - compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquefied natural gas (LNG). Both are inexpensive, readily available in most countries and clean-burning.

l       天然气:有两种主要形式的天然气-压缩天然气(CNG)以及液化天然气(LNG)。在大多数国家这两种都比较便宜,可靠,并且燃烧很清洁

• Hydrogen: Hydrogen is an attractive alternative fuel source because it does not produce harmful emissions. It has been used to fuel space flight since the 1950s. Commonly, hydrogen is used in hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.

l       氢气:氢气是一种很有前景的可替代燃料资源,因为其燃烧后没有任何污染。自20世纪50年代时,就作为宇航燃料来使用。并且众所周知,氢气也被用在氢燃料电池汽车里。

• Ethanol: Made from corn, ethanol is a natural fuel that is widely available in some countries. Much of the gasoline in the USA already contains 10% ethanol by weight. Alternative fuel vehicles can run on a higher concentration of ethanol fuel, conserving resources.

l       乙醇:从粮食中获得,在很多国家乙醇作为一种光然使用的燃料存在。在美国,很多汽油中都含有百分之十重量的乙醇。使用可替代燃料的汽车可以使用很高含量的乙醇燃料,保护环境。


Selecting the right type of fuel
While biogas is popular in Germany, where one-quarter of publicly available natural gas refueling stations use 100% RNG, it is not yet widespread in the USA. As such, it may not be a good choice for lift trucks since sourcing RNG can be difficult. If there is a source of biogas near you, it can be an energy-efficient and cost-effective option. Sanitation trucks in Los Angeles County run on biogas produced from county landfill waste.



If you have the option of purchasing new forklifts outfitted with hydrogen fuel cells, or slowly replacing old trucks with HFC vehicles, this can be a very good option.

Natural gas fuel can be a very good option for forklifts, since it is readily available and inexpensive. It may be easier to find new and used forklifts that consume natural gas, making this a convenient option for companies. Likewise, ethanol is widely available and makes a convenient choice for forklift fuel.

The alternative fuel tax credit, which covers fuel used in lift trucks, makes it even more cost effective to switch to alternative fuels. At present, the US federal government also offers tax credits for purchasing alternative fuel cell vehicles through December 2014, which can encourage a switch. If you are considering greening your warehouse by purchasing lift trucks that run on alternative fuel, these government incentives may be the extra push that you need to commit.


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