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A Small Introductory Guide On Alternative Fuels...

02 November 2015, 02:26 PM

The term “alternative fuels” is referred to those kinds of fuels that are extracted from other sources than petroleum.  The concept of alternative fuel came to surface when certain countries felt the dire need of reducing their dependence on imported oil while some others started looking for reducing their emissions. The automobile world currently runs on two basic fuel types: petrol and diesel. The pollutants emitted from consumption of both these fuel types are highly dangerous for our surroundings. The fact is fastly turning the desire of alternative fuels for cars into a basic need. The R&D in this respect has been going on a rapid pace and many have been successful in extracting automobile fuel from much simpler components like hydrogen, water, as well as ethanol. On a global scale, following types of alternative fuels have been given recognition as a substitute for petrol and diesel:

  1. Ethanol: It is generated from crops and corns on a domestic level; it releases lesser greenhouse gases then the regular fuels. The only issue is of its lower fuel economy and if produced in abundance it can definitely affect the food prices.

  2. Biodiesel: A suitable substitute for diesel, it is derived from animal fats and vegetable oil. Also, it is less polluting then its petroleum counterpart. However, production of this kind of fuel is a tough task and its quality also varies on a wide scale. It is costlier than petrol and diesel.

  3. Natural Gas: A fossil fuel but has been known for its lower emissions and higher efficiency. But, its installation requires huge gas tanks that gear considerable space in vehicles. The range offered by this type of fuel is quite limited and refueling infrastructure of these fuels in pretty weak in our country.

  4. Propane: Also known as the Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG), it is found in abundance as a fossil fuel and shares its emission profile with Natural Gas.

  5. Hydrogen: One of the recent additions in the alternative fuels for automobiles list, it can be extracted from nuclear power, coal, and some other renewable resources. The best part is it produces zero emissions and ensures very high fuel efficacy. The only problem in the basic infrastructure for refueling and its expensiveness.

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