Methanol or its derivatives (DME, DMC, biodiesel) can already be used as substitutes for gasoline and diesel fuel in today's ICE-powered cars, with only minor modifications to existing engines and fuel systems. ICE is a much-proven and reliable technology, which has been continuously improved and perfected since its invention over a hundred years ago. Fuel economy compared to generated power is now better, and emissions lower than ever before. Hybrid cars, combining an ICE with an electric motor are commercialized by a growing number of companies (Toyota, Honda, Ford, etc.) and can reduce even further fuel consumption and emissions. In these vehicles too, gasoline and diesel fuel can be easily substituted by methanol or its derivatives. Their use on a large scale is realizable in the relative short term. In the foreseeable future, however, in order to further increase efficiency and lower emissions, fuel cell technology will be the best alternative to ICEs in the transportation field. Much effort and financial resources are currently being invested by major motor car manufacturers and governments to make fuel cell vehicles (FCV) an affordable and viable option for consumers in the foreseeable future. FCVs promise to be much quieter, cleaner and to require less maintenance than ICE because of fewer moving parts. Proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFC) are currently the favored type of fuel cell to power cars because of their relatively light weight, low operating temperature, and high power output. As described in Chapter 9, these vehicles operate on hydrogen which can be stored in liquid, gaseous or solid metal hydride forms, or even reformed onboard from different liquid fuels, including gasoline and methanol.
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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.