Liquid fuels

The advantage of converting crops to liquid fuel is that it is portable and therefore suitable for vehicles. The damage to health from low-level pollution is becoming increasingly a matter of concern and overtaking the greenhouse factor as the driving force behind the development of minimum polluting vehicles.

The world's largest experiment in alternative fuel has been taking place in Brazil since 1975. Ethanol produced from sugar cane powers about 4 million cars in that country. It produces fewer pollutants than petrol and is a net zero carbon fuel. A problem for Brazil was that world energy prices had fallen to such an extent as to make ethanol uneconomic without government subsidy. There was a danger that the ethanol programme would collapse under the weight of market forces. However, improvements in the rate of growth per hectare combined with greater use in the generation of power for the grid together with steeply rising oil prices could save the situation.

Another use for ethanol is in the creation of hydrogen for fuel cells. A mixture of ethanol, water and air is fed to a reactor which is a compact fuel cell hydrogen generator. The mixture is heated and passed through two catalysts. About half the gas emerging from the process is hydrogen. It has the potential to produce electricity for the grid using biowaste from agriculture and dedicated energy crops.

Guide to Alternative Fuels

Guide to Alternative Fuels

Your Alternative Fuel Solution for Saving Money, Reducing Oil Dependency, and Helping the Planet. Ethanol is an alternative to gasoline. The use of ethanol has been demonstrated to reduce greenhouse emissions slightly as compared to gasoline. Through this ebook, you are going to learn what you will need to know why choosing an alternative fuel may benefit you and your future.

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