Just like electricity, fuel is very important to our day-to-day living. Without it, the production of raw materials into our basic commodities would become difficult, and transport may be as slow as riding a mule. The very importance of fuel can be felt in its absence: if your tank runs empty while you are in the middle of a deserted highway, how lost would you feel? This article discusses the most common forms of fuel available today. In order to choose the best fuel for your vehicle, it is helpful to know the kinds and their respective attributes to make a well-informed choice.
Petroleum, or crude oil as it is commonly called, is the most popular fuel source all over the world. Diesel and Gasoline are derived from petroleum by means of distillation. However, the prices of petroleum-based products are very volatile, mainly because the earth’s oil resources are rapidly depleting. It is, therefore, not surprising that oil prices jumped from £12 in 1995 to £85 in 2008. The implication: we need to find and make use of alternative energy sources fast before our oil reserves run dry.
Although there are no vehicles found on the market that can run on natural gas, natural gas is still recognized as a common form of fuel because of its popular use in other things, like cooking, warming up offices and homes, and powering up industrial machines. Methanogens are special organisms that process substances found in coal beds. The gases are by-products of the work of methanogens. However, before being used, natural gas needs to be processed and purified until only methane is left.
Ethanol is also considered a natural gas, but it is only found in small amounts compared to more abundant natural gases. However, this fuel can also be produced manually. The process is simple: organic matter is combined and fermented, and the resulting alcohol collected. This raw alcohol is distilled in turn to improve its viscosity. However, although ethanol burns cleaner than petrol-based fuels, it is not as efficient and is just as costly.
Straight Vegetable Oil
Straight Vegetable Oil or SVO is quickly becoming a contender to petrol-based fuels because it is cheaper than traditional vehicle fuel although similarly efficient. It is derived from used cooking oil that is usually collected from fast-food chains. The viscosity of SVO fuel is adjusted to make it flow better. The only problem, however, is that the engines should be converted to handle this special fuel in order to work efficiently.
One of the cleanest alternatives to petrol-based fuels is hydrogen fuel. The energy is produced by chemical reactions of oxygen and hydrogen in a proton exchange fuel cell. Chemically combining these two elements produces electricity which can be used to run the engine. The only byproducts of this hydrofuel are water and vapors. Not bad if you want to save the environment, right?
With a few modifications, it’s pretty easy to avoid the unstable prices of petrol-based products. You can also save the planet and make your vehicle’s engine run more efficiently. By knowing the most common forms of fuel that you could use for your car, you can surely make an informed choice that you wouldn’t regret.
Laura writes articles for uSwitch.com, a trusted energy comparison website in the UK. To help you learn more about fuel prices, price comparisons, and other things that will help you manage your winter fuel allowance, visit uSwitch.com today.