The Next Alternative Fueladmin / January 13, 2019
This domestically formed fuel produces uncontaminated burning effect and thus a renewable alternative for the petroleum products. It mainly comes from vegetable oils and fats from animals (Dale, p 14). The effectiveness is measurable by the energy security, health or environmental protection, safety and performance of the engine.
1.1 Benefits of biodiesel
U.S. imports a surplus of 60% petroleum energy majority of which is gasoline and diesel for vehicles. The political volatility of the petroleum producers means that the source is insecure thus the high venerability to disruption of supplies (Alternative Fuels and Advanced Vehicles Data Center (AFDC), p 4). With domestically produced biodiesel as a substitute, the insecurity of supply becomes less.
During combustion, biodiesel does not emit hydrocarbons and other harmful products like carbon monoxide, greenhouse gases, sulphites and particulate like the mined petroleum products. Scientifically it reduces carbon dioxide emission by over 75%. The bio fuels improve engine performance by providing the lubricating effects, thus preventing the engine parts from wearing out (Dale, p 15).
Diesel fuels have reduced sulphur thus the low lubricating ability. Lastly, the non-toxic nature of biodiesel enhances user and environmental protection in cases of spills. It is also less combustible and therefore enhances more safety during handling, transportation and storage.
Hydrogen is scientifically the most abundant and simple element of the earth. It emanates from the biomass, fossil fuels and ionized water. These are renewable sources, thus the probability of having non-pollutants and alternative for the imported petroleum products (Hordeski, p.2).
2.1 Benefits of Hydrogen
Its greenhouse and exhaust gas emission is almost zero and is a domestic product from natural sources such as wind, biomass, coal, solar, natural gas or nuclear energy. The fuel is thus safe for the environment and users due to none emission property especially when production is from low or none-toxicant sources such as nuclear energy, fossil fuels, solar or wind. The hydrogen fuel provides ways of utilizing the renewable energy sources.
With the high number of electric or hybrid vehicles, there are high probabilities of use particularly for the short distance drives (Simon, p 74). Other alternatives are the fuel cells for converting hydrogen chemicals and storing electric energy production from the vehicle’s board.
3.1 Benefits of Electricity
The electric vehicles have no exhaust carbon emissions. The cost of electricity varies depending on the location, source and time of usage thus more reasonable than the petroleum products. There is also easy access due to generalized outlets from various locations including home.
4. Natural Gas
This is the naturally available burning fuel commonly compressed for household use (Hordeski, p.2). Its usage for vehicles would secure the fuel energy due to local production and improve environment and public health due to lack of substance emissions except water. It reduces dependency on foreign imports thus increasing security. Production of natural gas causes zero emissions as well.
Propane is ‘liquefied petroleum gas’ (LPG) for high levelled energy requirements such as in flights. The use of this source would increase fuel security and promote zero emissions due to clean burning or provision of high performance benefits.
6. Best alternative for the future
Hydrogen fuel is the most preferable future fuel because of its availability, high power efficiency especially for the ‘fuel cell vehicles’, as well as low intoxication to people and the environment. Beside vehicles, hydrogen fuels are also sources for stationary applications such as generators for electric production, thus a fuel for the entire economy. Hydrogen technologies will give U.S. benefits that are more economical.
According to Hordeski (p.2), hydrogen is better than electric fuel because production of electricity causes carbon emissions. As an alternative, propane production is more expensive and requires engine conversions to accommodate propane combustion.
Alternative Fuels and Advanced Vehicles Data Center (AFDC). Energy Efficiency &
Renewable Energy. U.S. Department of Energy, 5 April 2101. Web. 15 December 2010.
Dale, Bruce. Thinking clearly about bio fuels: ending the irrelevant ‘net energy’ debate and developing better performance metrics for alternative fuels. 1(1), 14-17. September 2007. Print.
Hordeski, Michael. Alternative fuels: the future of hydrogen. Georgia, GA: Fairmont Press Inc. 2009. Print.
Simon, Christopher. Alternative energy: political, economic, and social feasibility.
Plymouth, U.K: ROWMAN & LITTLEFIELD Publishers, Inc. 2007. Print.