We had a scheduled meeting 2 months ago in Maryland with my business partner. We were looking at an Ocean City overview when I noticed a smoke-belching truck. It had me staring until it disappeared. The incident sparked my desire to divert the attention of manufacturers and consumers to a more eco-friendly way to power vehicles.
Today, fossil fuels like gasoline and diesel are still the kings of oil supply chain. These conventional fuels, which are non-renewable, are starting to run out in the market. This will cause a global crisis, and we cannot deny its harmful effects to the environment. Currently, the substitution to alternative fuel has been a growing topic and interest.
- Biodiesel – Based on vegetable oil or animal fat, biodiesel is highly available. The advantage of using biodiesel is that vehicle engines can be modified to burn biodiesel in its pure form. In unmodified engines, it can be mixed together with petroleum diesel. Biodiesel produces less air pollutants than petroleum-based diesel. It is biodegradable and safe to use.
- Ethanol – It is an alcohol based alternative derived from crop fermentation such as corn, barley or wheat. Crops are renewable sources which we are sure to produce. The use of ethanol as an alternative fuel is will generate lesser greenhouse effect and gas emission than conventional fuels. It can be mixed together with gasoline to increase octane levels and improve quality of emissions.
- Natural gas – It is an alternative fuel that burns clear. Through utilities that provide natural gas to homes and businesses, it is already broadly available to many countries. When used in especially designed engines, natural gas produces significantly fewer harmful emissions than gas or diesel.
- Electricity – Battery-powered electric and fuel-cell vehicles can utilize electricity as an alternative. Like any battery powered appliance, battery-powered electric vehicles are recharged by plugging the vehicle into an electrical source. Fuel-cell vehicles run using electricity which is produced through an electrochemical reaction with the combination of hydrogen and oxygen. They produce electricity without combustion or pollution. Electricity networks are already extensive nowadays, making electric transportation highly efficient.
- Methanol – Also known as wood alcohol, it can be used in flexible fuel vehicles. However, methanol-powered vehicles are no longer manufactured by automakers. Methanol could possibly be an important source of alternative fuel in the future, but, a source of the hydrogen needed to run fuel-cell vehicles.
- Hydrogen – This alternative fuel can be derived from fossil fuels, nuclear power or renewable resources. It can be blended with natural gas for vehicles that use certain types of internal combustion engines. Hydrogen can also be used in fuel-cell vehicles that run on electricity. The use f this source emits no harmful air pollutants or bad emissions.
- Propane – Also called liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). It is an abundant fossil fuel and/or a byproduct of natural gas processing and crude oil refining. Propane is widely used as fuel for cooking and heating and is now a popular alternative fuel for vehicles. The use of propane produces less harmful pollutants and greenhouse effect, and fewer emissions than gasoline.
- Compressed air –Compressed air is used to fuel air engines which have emission-free piston engines. It is about one-tenth as expensive as fossil oil which makes it economical to use.
The use of alternative fuels holds a significant key to the future. Not only is it economical, but eco-friendly too. Far lesser harmful pollutants are produced and global warming is aided. Drive with concern to mother Earth, let us travel in green fashion.