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Alternative Fuels: Pros and Cons of Different Types

Introduction

The issues of environmental protection, air pollution, and the necessary reformation of the car building industry are currently among the most burning problems nowadays. Car builders are concerned with the matters of various engines and fuel types. The aim of this paper is to compare various types of alternative fuels, evaluate the matters of air pollution and environmental impact, as well as the costs of the fuel and total economic and technical effectiveness of the fuel.

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Air Pollution and Environment

First of all, there is a strong necessity to review the general environmental situation. In order to evaluate the environmental impact of alternative fuels, there is a strong necessity to review the impact of gasoline. Thus, when the engine is started, the following emissions are produced:

  • Carbon dioxide is the dominant greenhouse gas that causes global warming.
  • Carbon monoxide, when inhaled, impairs the flow of oxygen to your brain.
  • Sulfur oxides contribute to respiratory illness and aggravate existing heart and lung diseases.
  • Oxides of nitrogen (NOx) react with compounds in the air to cause acid rain and ozone (the main reason for smog).
  • Hydrocarbons, in their many forms, irritate the lung and other tissues, contribute to birth defects and cause other illnesses including cancer.

Originally, the environmental impact of gasoline and diesel fuels is serious, consequently, alternative technologies are being researched at the moment. The list of the most potential technologies is the following:

  • Electric
  • Hybrid
  • Natural gas
  • Hydrogen
  • Fuel Cell
  • Clean Diesel (low sulfur)
  • Biodiesel (B100)
  • Ethanol (E85)

In order to compare the environmental impact of these fuels, the comparison table will be required:

Impact Electric Hybrid Natural Gas Hydrogen Fuel Cell Clean Diesel Biodiesel Ethanol
Emission No Low Low No Low Medium Low Low
Cost Low Medium Medium High High Medium Medium Low

In the light of this fact, it should be stated that potentially effective and low emission fuels appear to be of high price. Surely, in comparison with high octane gasoline, these costs are low, nevertheless, the comparison was made within the listed fuels. Thus, the economic advantages may be calculated. Nevertheless, in the light of the fact that some of these technologies are developing, and have not been subjected to serial manufacturing, it should be emphasized that engines, based on these principles may be expensive enough, while fuel stations with alternative fuels are rare. (Moore, 2004)

Pros and Cons

Electric

+

Low cost, high-performance index, absence of emissions

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High costs of technical maintenance, low power capacity

Hybrid

+

Possibility to use gasoline and electricity as a fuel decreased emissions in comparison with gas engine

Lower safety factor, lower performance index, often breakdowns because of two engines, 10% lower milage

Natural gas

+

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Low emissions, low costs of the fuel, low fuel consumption, availability of the equipment

High costs of technical maintenance, increased requirements for safety, easy to mix with water with the aim of fraud

Hydrogen

+

Lowest emissions

Expansive equipment, high explosive risk, low-performance index

Fuel Cell

+

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Cheap technology, low emissions, high effectiveness

Difficulties with disposal, difficulty to provide proper technical maintenance, overheating

Clean Diesel (low sulfur)

+

Lower emissions, high-performance index

High costs of the fuel, overheating, high cost of the filtering equipment

Biodiesel (B100)

+

Extended life of the engine, high combustion

Expensive fuel, overheating

Ethanol (E85)

+

Lowest pollution, lower emissions of greenhouse gases

High prices and low availability in some areas

Originally, the technologies and alternative fuels are estimated from the perspective of technical convenience, nevertheless, the more convenient and close to perfect technologies are economically more advantageous.

Considering these facts, there is a strong necessity to mention that the low price of the fuels or low emissions does not make some alternatives the best, as to change the car building industry, the car builders should get their customers interested in purchasing any exact variant of an alternative fuel engine. Thus, it should be stated that the original value of the alternative fuels is also covered in the simplicity of technical maintenance, the working regimes of the engines, and, surely, the availability of the fuels, as well as the necessary equipment for it.

Conclusion

Finally, there is a strong necessity to emphasize that alternative fuels are generally regarded to be the alternatives for the long perspective, as the world is not ready to change the industrial and manufacturing principles at one sit. Thus, constant, steady, and slow transmission is inevitable. In the light of this fact, it should be stated that the most economically advantageous and environmentally safe technologies are the hybrid cars and gasoline engines, as these are currently used widely, and make their own contribution to environmental protection and lowering of the fuel costs.

References

Coelho, S. T. (2006) “Alternative transportation fuels: contemporary case studies” Encyclopedia of energy. Amsterdam, Boston, Elsevier Academic Press.

Moore, R. K. (2004) “Alternative fuel vehicle” Encyclopedia of Science & Technology. 9th ed. v. 1. New York, McGraw-Hill

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StudyCorgi. (2021, November 29). Alternative Fuels: Pros and Cons of Different Types. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/alternative-fuels-pros-and-cons-of-different-types/

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StudyCorgi. (2021, November 29). Alternative Fuels: Pros and Cons of Different Types. https://studycorgi.com/alternative-fuels-pros-and-cons-of-different-types/

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StudyCorgi. "Alternative Fuels: Pros and Cons of Different Types." November 29, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/alternative-fuels-pros-and-cons-of-different-types/.

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StudyCorgi. 2021. "Alternative Fuels: Pros and Cons of Different Types." November 29, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/alternative-fuels-pros-and-cons-of-different-types/.

References

StudyCorgi. (2021) 'Alternative Fuels: Pros and Cons of Different Types'. 29 November.

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