Alternative fuels: An introduction

Research has been concerned with the development of alternative fuels for years. One of the reasons for this is that there are only limited oil stocks on earth. The dependence on oil can thus be reduced.

The goal of biofuels is also to reduce environmentally harmful CO2 emissions. So far, many of the alternative energy sources are mainly used as additives to fuels such as diesel and gasoline or are still in the development stage. Alternative fuel can be used for the best fishing kayaks but it’s important to know that not all alternative fuels are the same.

Some of the alternative fuels

Biodiesel

Biodiesel is made from esterified vegetable oils, such as rapeseed oil or sunflower oil, and methanol. Esterification is a chemical process in which alcohol is added to the fatty acids in the oil. Today, seven percent biodiesel is already added to conventional diesel fuel. The use of biodiesel can reduce harmful emissions. It also promotes regional agriculture and energy security and diversity.

Natural gas

Natural gas is a non-toxic and odorless gas mixture that consists of around 97 percent methane. The alternative fuel is considered environmentally friendly and is tax-favored. Because driving with natural gas produces fewer emissions than with petrol or diesel.

Bioethanol

The alternative fuel bioethanol is made from crops containing sugar or starch, such as sugar cane, sugar beet, but also grain, corn, and potatoes. This happens through a fermentation process of the food. Fermentation is a natural process in which food changes over time due to chemical processes.

Vegetable oil

Vegetable oil is also generally suitable as a fuel for vehicles. It is obtained by pressing or extraction from oil seeds, for example from rapeseed or sunflower seeds. Greenhouse gas emissions are similar to those of biodiesel. Vegetable oil is therefore very environmentally friendly.

Hydrogen

Hydrogen can be an alternative fuel for cars. This allows fuel cell vehicles and vehicles with a hydrogen combustion engine to run. The energy stored in methanol or in hydrogen is converted into electrical energy in the fuel cell without emissions. This happens through a reaction with oxygen.

The problem so far is that there are hardly any filling stations that offer hydrogen for refueling.