Alternative fuels are derived from resources other than petroleum. The alternative fuels identified in federal mandate legislation are: ethanol, methanol, electricity, compressed natural gas, liquefied natural gas, liquefied petroleum gas, bio-diesel, hydrogen, or hybrid vehicles using a number of fuels.
The use of alternative fuels greatly reduces harmful exhaust emissions such as carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide and particulate matter. The purpose of this article is to introduce you to some of the choices of fuels to power your car or truck, and to compare these alternative fuels with petroleum fuels and with each other.
The use of alternative fuels reduces our dependence on imported petroleum, contributes to a cleaner environment, and furthers the rural farm economy by creating markets for agricultural crops.
Ethanol is produced domestically from corn and other crops and produces less greenhouse gas emissions than conventional fuels. Ethanol was one of the first vehicle fuels, and is now the most widely used alternative to gasoline. Ethanol is an alcohol fuel that’s derived mainly from grain. Methanol is an alcohol fuel that’s derived primarily from coal. If you wonder why big oil and Middle Eastern oil interest are conducting a smear campaign on ethanol I believe $71 billion dollars is the logical answer.
Biodiesel is derived from vegetable oils and animal fats. Biodiesel was among the first automotive vehicle fuels and is now the fastest growing alternative transportation fuel. Biodiesel is used in conventional diesel engines, primarily in low-level blends of 2, 5, and 20 percent biodiesel with diesel fuel, known as B2, B5, and B20, respectively. Facilities making biodiesel are already here and ethanol facilities are not far behind.
Electric vehicles(EVs), especially EVs powered by fuel cells, are a compelling alternative to gasoline-powered cars. According to many experts, we may soon find ourselves using fuel cells to generate electrical power for our cars and all sorts of devices in our homes. All EVs operate with electricity that is stored in a battery that must be recharged. They can either be plugged into an electricity source at home or wherever there is a suitable outlet. While not considered an alternative fuel vehicle (AFV) by the government’s definition, hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) are nonetheless an alternative to conventional gasoline-powered models.
Natural gas is a fossil fuel that generates less air pollutants and greenhouse gases. Natural gas is used in two forms to fuel vehicles: compressed (CNG) or liquefied (LNG). Natural Gas is a by-product of oil drilling and coal mining, natural gas can also be harvested from natural gas fields.
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See below on how to build a hydrogen generator to run your car on water.
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