The price of conventional fuels like petroleum oil is ever-increasing. Consumers can no longer afford to pay for gasoline expenses due to the global financial crisis. Fortunately, with the help of modern technology, scientists have discovered alternatives to conventional oil all classified as alternative fuels. Alternative fuels were not only created to help consumers deal with the current global economic situation but to save the environment.
In the United States, using an alternative fuel is becoming popular. In 2007, more than 1.8 million alternative fuel automobiles were sold. This is an indication that alternative fuels are in demand. Alternative fuel automobiles have engines that do not only entail the use of petroleum oil but alternative fuels like bio alcohols (butanol, ethanol, methanol), biodiesel, hydrogen, electricity, non-fossil fuel derived natural gas, methane, and vegetable oil.
- Biodiesel is composed of animal fat or vegetable oil based diesel oil that contains long chains of ethyl, propyl and methyl esters. Primarily, some aircraft and railways use biodiesel. A wide range of oils can be used to manufacture biodiesel and these are virgin oil feed stocks, soybean oils, rapeseed oils, waste vegetable oil (WVO), algae, animal fats (chicken fat, lard, tallow, yellow grease, fish oil) and halophytes oil. Biodiesel is not only affordable but environmentally-friendly too. It is believed to minimize greenhouse gas emissions, pollution and biodegradation. The main disadvantage of using Biodiesel fuel is that it can cause clogging of your car’s filters.
- Ethanol fuel is composed of pure alcohol. E10 and E85 are the types of ethanol-added fuels that can be used in your vehicle. Ethanol is environmental friendly but the price is much the same as for conventional fuel.
- Hydrogen fuel is still being studied for the use of future vehicles. It is not available in most gas stations and the price is expensive. Plus, you need to configure your vehicle to work with Hydrogen.
- Vegetable oil is exactly what you think it is. Vegetable oil, even after being used for cooking, is a great alternative fuel for vehicles that are intended to burn number two diesel oil.
- Natural gas is basically composed of methane. As of 2008, there were more than seven million vehicles that used natural gas worldwide. If you want to use natural gas you need to configure your vehicle to work with natural gas. Natural gas is good for the environment and it is way cheaper than conventional fuel.
There are many alternative fuel sources you can use for your vehicle. You just need to find one that is suitable for your needs.