(The Gist of Science Reporter) Producing Alternative Fuels From Renewable Sources [FEBRUARY-2019]
(The Gist of Science Reporter)
Producing Alternative Fuels From Renewable Sources
Producing alternative fuels from
The source of fossil fuel is finite, non-renewable and ever depleting.
India is heavily dependent on fossil fuels for its energy requirements and
therefore, needs to identify renewable fuel sources which would help reduce
import of petroleum crude.
There are several important steps that the country needs to take to
carry forward research on renewable sources for production of alternative
fuel and reaching the output to the remotest corners so that the poorest of
the poor can be provided fuel at an affordable price.
The only non-renewable solid fuel that is still controlling the world's
energy sector is coal, in view of the restricted utilisation of nuclear
energy. The replacement of liquid fuel is a near difficult task in the
coming several decades. So the world is slowly towards the use of hydrogen
as the replacement of liquid fuels.
Types of Alternative Fuels
Ethanol: Primarily alcohol is produced from fermentation and
further distillation of crops like corn, barley, sugarcane bagasse, wheat.
etc. It is blended with gasoline to increase octane level and improve
Natural Gas: It is already in use in several countries through
utilities that provide natural gas to homes and it burns clean. Cars and
trucks with specially designed engines run through natural gas with less
Propane: The other name of propane is Liquefied Petroleum gas
(LPG); it is a byproduct of crude oil refining and natural gas processing.
It is widely used as cooking gas and a popular alternative fuel.
Biodiesel: it is one of the fuels whose source is always
renewable, It can be produced from vegetable oils or animal fats and also
the cooking wastes of restaurants. Vehicle engines can be converted to run
by pure biodiesel and it is also blended with petroleum diesel to run in
modified engines also.
Methanol: One of the present day important alternative fuels –
much attention has been paid on cost-effective production of methanol, which
can be used as a source of alternative fuel. It is an important raw material
for production of fuel cell grade hydrogen to run hydrogen powered vehicles.
Electricity: Electricity can be used as a transportation
alternative fuel for battery-powered electric and fuel-cell vehicles.
Hydrogen: U can be mixed with natural gas to create an
alternative fuel which can be used in some types of internal combustion
engines. Hydrogen is the fuel for fuel-cell vehicles and is produced by the
P-series Fuels: These are blends of ethanol, LNG and
methyltetrahydrofuran (MeTHE) in different proportions. The P-Series
alternative fuels are clear and have high octane number with flexibility of
choices of vehicles. It has the option of addition to normal gasoline.