Fossil Fuels

What are some alternatives to fossil fuels?

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2012-03-28 11:31:48 energy


3.fuel cells

4. methanol

5. ethanol

6. biodiesel


Bio-Diesel is a kind of diesel fuel derived from vegetable oil

and animal fat. It is an alkyl ester which is obtained by

trans-esterification of vegetable oil using ethyl alcohol. It is

often used in a blended form along with the normal diesel. So,

currently it is mostly used as a diesel fuel additive. This

blending of bio-diesel with normal diesel, reduces emission of

pollutants. It has excellent lubrication properties. It is being

widely introduced all around the world in every form of



Alcohol derived from plant sources can be used as an effective

alternative to fossil fuel. Ethanol, Butanol, Methanol and Propanol

are the alcohols of interest which can be used as fuels. These four

types of alcohol can be easily derived from biological sources.

They have properties which make them useful as fuels in automobile

engines. In fact, Butanol is very similar to gasoline and has a

comparable energy density! Methanol and ethanol have high octane

rates. Ethanol can be produced from sugar fermentation and is

indeed widely produced around the world, now as an alternative



The properties of liquid Hydrogen, make it an ideal candidate

for use as an alternative to fossil fuel. In normal conditions of

temperature and pressure, molecular Hydrogen has a peaceful

co-existence with oxygen and does not burn without input of extra

energy. Hydrogen fuel cells have been developed which use molecular

Hydrogen as an effective form of alternative fuel. The Hydrogen

Fuel cell, convert chemical energy contained in a Hydrogen

molecule, to electrical energy. The major advantage of Hydrogen as

alternative fuel is, that its unit mass contains 2.8 times the

energy contained in the same mass of gasoline. Hydrogen powered

cars are already a reality but the problem lies in the cost of

production. Until that cost is brought down, this technology is not

commercially viable.

Liquid Nitrogen

Liquid Nitrogen based cars have been developed using nitrogen

powered internal combustion engines. Regenerative braking

technology, which stores the impulse generated through braking,

uses liquid nitrogen as fuel. A liquid nitrogen car is much like an

electric car in its circuitry, except that the batteries are

replaced by liquid nitrogen fuel tanks.

Vegetable Oil

Diesel engines have been run on fuel which is a blend of

processed vegetable oil and normal diesel. It has been tested as a

fuel and is found to be an eco-friendly alternative.

These are some of the alternatives to fossil fuels, available

currently. The list is short but certainly promising! In the

future, more and more such alternatives will be made available, as

the new promising technologies like hydrogen fuel cell and hybrid

car technology is made more affordable. By promoting the use of

these alternatives to fossil fuels, we can make our world a greener

and a safer place to live!

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