Alternative Fuel Sources
Alternative fuel sources come in all shapes and sizes. But if you are confused about what they are, here is a short definition. Alternative fuels are non-conventional or advanced sources of fuel; substances that can be used as fuel sources that are not conventional.
Let’s look at conventional fuels. Here is a brief list: oil (petroleum), coal, fossil fuels, natural gas, and propane. Most of these fuels should be pretty familiar to you because we use these everyday. We also use nuclear power that is derived from uranium and thorium. Radioisotope fuels store energy and are made from nuclear reactors as another fuel source.
Now that we got those listed, let’s look at some alternative fuel sources: hydrogen, vegetable oil, biofuels, alcohol, ammonia fuels, and even compressed air. All of these substances can be used as an alternative to the regularly used fuels listed above.
The goal here is to show you what alternative fuels can do for you and our society. Understanding these fuels and using them is the key to switching from conventional to alternative.
Understanding Alternative Fuels #1: Biofuels – Biofuels are reusable substances like biomass and algae that can be used to generate electricity and alternate fuels.
Using these biofuels is already being tested in the United States. One fuel that the U.S. Navy is now testing is Algae based fuel. They are using them to power ships and it seems to be going very well. One acre of algae can produce two thousand gallons of fuel per year. This can be an alternate to crude oil uses.
Biodiesels are being tested as an alternative to gasoline. Biodiesels are animal fats and vegetable oils that are mixed with diesel to increase the longevity of the fuel. It does give off a small amount of pollution, but much less than the conventional fuel.
Understanding Alternative Fuels #2: Ammonia – Ammonia can be used as an alternative fuel source. It should be used to power machines as well as transportation vehicles.
Ammonia is beneficial for a multitude of reasons. It is extremely easy to make and very cheap. It can be created by a small machine and be used in the same place. The largest benefit is no emissions and no oils for the fuels.
Understanding Alternative Fuels #3: Compressed Natural Gas – (CNG) is an alternative fuel that burns cleaner and regular petroleum automobile fuels like gasoline.
This fuel is very efficient and produces the same amount of power that gasoline does. It does take up more room than gasoline but any car can be transformed in a bi-fuel system. The only downside to this fuel is that it uses natural gas so it is finite.
Natural gas burns very clean; it is cleaner than gasoline and diesel engines. So far, this fuel is powering over five millions vehicles and about one hundred and fifty thousand cars.
These are just a few alternative fuels that can be used in all engines and transportation methods. Some of these fuels can be used for electricity and some can be used as replacements for oil based products. But the best part of these fuels is that they are all renewable. There are other alternative energy sources that can be used for power like solar and wind. But, these are not considered fuels so they were not talked about here.
But these are very important alternative sources of energy and we will discuss them later. I hope you enjoyed this article and please leave any comments about this article below.