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Summary – Existing car fuels – getting depleted at an alarming rate – are a major cause for rising environmental problems. Alternative fuels, those that are replenishable and do not harm the atmosphere are the ones that need to be used. We give you a list of fuels that you can switch over to in the near future.
Alternative Fuels for Automobiles
Alternative Vehicle Fuel refers to a fuel other than the conventional diesel or gasoline. The engine is powered by using a method that doesn’t involve using petroleum – the non-renewable, pollution-generating fuel. Petroleum supplies are depleting faster than the speed of light and the pollution it causes is enough to make one suffer from a lifetime of respiratory diseases. India ranks third in the list of most polluted countries in the world with CO2 emissions of 1,970,000 tonnes in 2012.
Due to an arrangement of heavy fuel taxes, stringent environmental laws, and the likelihood of further restricting the emissions of greenhouse gases, work on alternative fuel methods for vehicles has assumed utmost priority for governments and manufacturers worldwide.
It seems that alternative fuel vehicles have been a long time coming. In fact, some of the first automobiles used electrical and solar power to run on. It’s only with recent developments that these cars have been made more viable to run on power systems like electricity and solar energy.
Lo and behold! Many thoughtful scientists of the 21st century have racked their brains and come up with alternative fuels that could be replenished and not add to the already polluted environment. Check out some cool alternative fuels that you could consider using for your cars.
1. Hydrocarbon Fuels
Solar-powered reactors turn carbon dioxide into carbon monoxide and split water into its constituents, hydrogen and oxygen. In a process known as the Fischer-Tropsche process, the two are made to react together to create hydrocarbons that can be used as fuels. The fuels are carbon neutral and do not emit any kind of pollution. Since solar energy is utilized to create the naturally occurring fuels, they are renewable as well.
2. Compressed Air Car
We know from the logic of blowing balloons that letting out a whoosh of air shows that compressing air into a small space is a way of storing energy. When the gas expands, the energy is released to do work. Air cars have compressors that release air-creating energy, propelling the mechanics to work. Air refuelling stations could be used to fill up the air compressor tanks. Energy utilised from air would ensure a clean and a never-ending supply of energy, for eternity!
Ethanol is an alcohol-based fuel that is made from plant matter such as corn, wheat or barley. Gasoline is often blended with ethanol to give a boost to octane levels and improve the quality of emissions. The main highlight of this alternative fuel is that it is highly renewable.
Recently, scientists have claimed that biofuel made from waste coffee beans could power vehicles. Oil extracted from the coffee bean is soaked in an organic solvent before using a special process to transform it into biodiesel. Apparently, 10 kgs of coffee beans could release 2 litres of fuel that could power your car easily!
Methanol, also called wood alcohol, is designed to run M85, a blend of 85% methanol and 15% gasoline. It is touted to become a source of hydrogen needed to power fuel-cell cars.
We hope that this proliferation of alternative fuels has piqued your interest. Makes you wonder why we don’t just drop everything and reduce our dependency on gasoline to live cleaner, cheaper and healthier lives. We think it’s time to join hands together and create the upcoming generation a one where cars are environment-friendly chariots of both power and sensibility!