It’s high time for us to use alternative fuel sources, in order to save the ever-depleting natural resources. We all tend to consider alternative fuel sources and the money involved, in order to use them, only when the prices of conventional sources go up. There will be a time of fuel scarcity in the future, when people will be ready to shell out a good deal of money for these alternatives, which will also make the conventional sources last longer.
What are Alternative Fuels?
These are fuels which can be used instead of the limited natural resources found on Earth. They are resources other than crude oil and petroleum products, and they can be used in place of conventional fuels, which are limited. Some of these are renewable resources, which can be used repeatedly, but few are produced domestically.
It is feared that conventional fuels like petroleum, coal, and oil will be exhausted soon. Hence, there is a need for us to utilize alternative fuels. Few car manufacturers have already started producing hybrid cars, which not only save fuel, but also cause less pollution. Alternative fuels are also known as non-conventional or advanced fuels. Few examples are: bio-diesel, hydrogen, biomass sources, bio-fuels, bio-alcohols like butanol, methanol, ethanol, and chemically stored electricity in the form of batteries and fuel cells.
List of Alternative Fuels
They help in clean burning and are probably the best way to replenish the existing stock of natural resources. Let’s have a look at some of the best alternative fuel sources, which can be used as an option for fossil fuels.
It is made by a chemical process from animal fat or vegetable oils. It is a clean-burning alternative fuel which is environment friendly, free of sulfur, biodegradable, and non-toxic. It can be used as a direct substitute for diesel engines.
It is an alternative to gasoline and it consists of a mixture of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline. This fuel is hard to find, because not many filling stations keep it, and also at the same time, it is less efficient as compared to gasoline. If a car requires one gallon to cover a specific distance, the same will be covered by almost twice the amount of E85, or more.
It is a molecular component of water, and is also one of the most valuable sources of energy. Hydrogen is used as an energy source for fuel cells and batteries. It burns more efficiently in fuel cells than gasoline. There are few car manufacturers which have been producing hydrogen-powered fuel cell cars, though not in huge numbers. It could prove to be one of the best fuel sources for automobiles.
In the United States, most of the natural gas is produced domestically. It is extracted from gas wells and obtained from crude oil production. It is at a much better position than that of gasoline and diesel, because of its better performance, clean burning, domestic production, and lower emissions. The most beneficial part of using this fuel is that it reduces 90% of carbon monoxide, as compared to gasoline or diesel.
It is produced domestically from crops like wheat, corn, and barley. It causes less greenhouse gas emissions as compared to conventional fuels sources. It can also be produced from various types of sugar. Ethanol is a product which can be made from bio-materials and waste materials.
Alternative fuel sources are very important in present times, and by using them, instead of conventional resources, we can benefit the environment in a great manner. To promote more use of such sources, tax incentives are offered by the federal government for those who purchase qualified alternative fuel vehicles.