Fuel Alternatives

We’re exploring a world full of options to fossil fuels, including renewable methane, hydrogen, and more.


Algae Biotechnology

Imagine a never-ending fuel source that thrives in salty or polluted water, can grow on empty desert acreage, and could travel to gas pumps through existing fuel lines. What is it? Algae, those slimy green plants often called “pond scum,” could be the next-generation fuel.

Discover why Southern California, including the UC San Diego campus, is the perfect place for a renewable energy project that could change the world. Visit SD-CAB


Greenline Biodiesel Bus

Through collaboration with Caterpillar, Inc., UC San Diego Fleet Services, and the student group Biofuels Action and Awareness Network (BAAN), UCSD introduced the Greenline shuttle. The Greenline shuttle began as a research project to test biodiesel fuel blends up to 99% biodiesel. Research examined the economic, environmental, and health impacts of using biofuel in buses.

The Greenline shuttle runs exclusively on biodiesel derived from vegetable oil. The advantagesof biofuel include:

  • Significantly fewer noxious emissions than petroleum-based diesel
  • Less toxicity than other fuel resources
  • Less dependence on oil as a fuel resource

The Greenline project demonstrated that using 100% biodiesel is feasible as no adverse maintenance or emissions issues were observed. The Greenline continues to serve the UC San Diego community.

Compressed Natural Gas

UC San Diego operates its own Compressed Natural Gas fueling station for campus fleet vehicles. Faculty, staff, students, alumni and contractors conducting university business may use the station.