As we’re all more than likely well aware, oil production is in and around peak and if we wish to continue our auto loving lifestyle we will require an alternative. There are numerous suggestions for fuels that can be used to power, though not all are pragmatic and for one reason or another don’t make a worthy replacement. So, let’s look at the fuels that we could realistically use to fuel us into the future.
This alcohol based option is created from fermenting crops such as barley or corn. It is considered broadly to be the most logical alternative to the traditional fossil fuel. According to reports ethanol creates around 30 per cent fewer emissions as well as a lot less of the other poisonous gases that cause problems. One of the downsides of ethanol is that it does involve the growing of crops for fuel, which in a world hurt by starvation does raise ethical concerns.
Biofuel or biodiesel is formulated by mixing fossil fuel with vegetable or animal fats. This can be done in varying degrees between 1-99 per cent one part or the other. The percentage constituting biodiesel can be seen via the ‘B’ number in the title. For example B1 would mean the fuel constitutes 1 per cent biofuel, whereas B99 would mean it would be 99 per cent bio fuel.
Biofuel is renowned for reducing the carbon content in emissions significantly and notable reduces monoxide, dioxide and also the emissions from particles. Add to this the fact it also produces income for farmers who grow the crops used to make the oil and degrades far more rapidly than traditional oil and you can see the benefits. It also can be used for cooking first, which means it has a dual use that ethanol doesn’t.
Electricity is an alternative fuel of sorts to fossil fuel and its success essentially depends on where and how the energy is produced. If the power is produced via fossil fuels then the electric car is seldom any better for the environment, though if produced via green means then the opposite is true. However, in the long term issues with battery disposal and other factors have to be taken into account – something you don’t have to worry about with car leasing.
In the past LPG was seen as a viable alternative to petrol and diesel. This mixture of butane and propane is known to be better for engines and also for the environment. There is less of the lead and other emissions that can cause problems in LPG than there are in petrol. However, there is a lack of manufacturer support for the fuel in some countries.
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