The age of electric cars is upon us, as individuals switch to more eco-friendly options for their vehicles. What many people don't realize is that there are actually several other alternative fuel sources they can consider. Many of these are still in the process of being tested, but knowing what is out there is half the battle.
These fuel sources range in properties as well as price, which is why many of them are not on the market. Gasoline is chosen for its long-range capabilities as well as its thoroughly established market. Keep reading to learn about ten alternative fuel sources to consider for your vehicle's engine!
Ethanol can be used in flexible fuel vehicles, but it is actually used in pure gasoline as well to aid in its oxygenation. It is made of renewable resources which are combined into something called biomass, which usually consists of corn, sugar, or woodchips. The liquid is clear and colorless and n0 matter what it is made from, the chemical formula remains constant. It contains less energy than gasoline, which is the main reason major car companies have not switched to this renewable fuel resource.
Methanol is also known as wood alcohol and has similar properties to ethanol. It is a product of natural gas when its synthesized form is fed into a reactor. It is a better option for its low production cost, low risk of flammability, and its ability to increase the availability of fuel. This alternative fuel source seemed to sputter out in the 1990s along with the fact that ethanol was chosen over it as a fuel oxygenator. The United States also does not produce vehicles which run on methanol any longer, which is another reason this alternative fuel source movement died out along the way.
The era of electric vehicles has begun, as car companies are transforming vehicles into all-electric or hybrids. They work by storing electricity in batteries within their framework and can recharge by being plugged into an electric recharge station, or by using hills and rolling stops to a driver's advantage. This has become a better option as it negates the need for gasoline and the availability of charging stations has expanded tremendously. They produce no emissions which in turn saves the environment, and although they may cost more, they pay for themselves over time.
7 Natural Gas
Natural gas can be used in vehicles once it is compressed or liquefied and it is better because it burns cleanly. This is made of methane, which is nonrenewable, but its counterpart biomethane is a renewable resource produced by organic materials.
This is a better option because of its low cost, availability to the market, and lower emissions it produces. There are engine conversion kits, as there are very few vehicles on the market that have engines which use this alternative fuel source.
Biodiesel is produced from animal fat, vegetable oil, or restaurant grease. It has similar properties to that of petroleum-based diesel, but it does differ in its ability to perform in cold weather. All diesel drivers should consider this as it does provide cleaner air and protects the atmosphere. It also has less harmful effects on the environment if it happens to be spilled and it is also less combustible when compared to petroleum. Almost all diesel vehicles can run on biodiesel, but you should check with the manual before using higher-level blends of this substance.
Hydrogen provides a quick and efficient way to provide vehicles with fuel, as five minutes worth of hydrogen can allow it to run for over 300 miles. This is a relatively new renewable source, but it might be one of the best because of its abundance in the environment. It can be found in water, natural gas, and other organic materials which makes it a vast resource at our disposal.
The emissions are nonexistent as it only produces water and warm air, but it can be tricky to contain hydrogen. The market needs to reduce the cost of production and maintenance of vehicles and fuel stations in order for this to be a plausible option for the future.
Propane is an odorless liquefied petroleum gas that contains ethyl mercaptan for leak detection. It is a byproduct of natural gas and it produces lower emissions in comparison to gasoline.
It is not as great as many of the other fuels discussed, but it is an option when we consider the future of fuel. It is a highly available substance and it does not cost much to create it, which is why people use it. It may not be the best option, but it is a step towards creating a cleaner environment.
The idea for this dates all the way back to 1665 with the idea for a carriage powered by steam. There was a time when more steam cars were sold than gasoline or electric. These cars work by boiling water until steam is created, which in turn pressurizes and causes the pistons to move. The only concern with this method was an explosion, as a buildup of pressure could lead to a rough ending. It is also avoided because of the time it takes to get the vehicle moving as the process of boiling water takes time which drivers tend not to have.
2 Solar Power
The Sion Solar Car is currently on the market for preorders and plans to be released later in 2019, but it won't be available in the United States. This car contains 248 solar cells, as well as living moss in the dash for natural air filtration benefits. It runs off of solar power and electric, as the solar energy it gains only provides you with 21 miles worth of power. Solar energy is unreliable as a complete energy resource, but when combined with another it can help reduce our carbon footprint.
1 P-Series Fuels
This biofuel is made from byproducts of garbage and consists of natural gas liquids, ethanol, and methyl tetrahydrofuran (MeTHF). The fuel is clear and colorless and cannot be used in typical gasoline vehicles. It is promising as it solves environmental issues, as well as waste management. It can be used with or without regular gasoline, making it easy to fill up even in places where it is not readily available. Their use does cause a decrease in MPG, but it largely decreases the number of emissions released into the atmosphere.