ALTERNATIVE FUELS AND HYBRID VEHICLES

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ALTERNATIVE FUELS AND HYBRID VEHICLES

Innovation has brought about radical change in the world with new technologies springing up every second. New ways of doing things and new tools of executing tasks keep rising up to meet the teeming needs of people. Notable among these innovative creations is the discovery of alternative fuel to replace conventional fuels that have been in use for centuries and caused more damage to our ecosystem than the advantages it has offered so far. The alternative fuels discovered and created so far includes:

Ethanol which is alcohol based made through the fermentation of corn, barley and wheat. In some cases, Gasoline is added to improve the octane level in the ethanol.
Natural gas releases very low emissions compared to diesel and gasoline powered engines.
Electricity is being used to power batteries that in turn power engines. An examples of this is the Tesla vehicles, powered by fuel cells.
Hydrogen is mixed with natural gas to create alternative fuel for internal combustion engines and as been known to be a reliable alter product fuel.
Propane is used as cooking fuel. It is idea for indoor use as it has very low emissions and it has replaced the use of other forms of fuel in homes all over the world.
Bio diesel is derived from vegetable oil and animal fat. It can be used to power engines and it reduces carbon monoxide emissions in the world.
Methanol also widely known as wood alcohol is used for selective engines and also a good fuel with very low emissions. The cost of its production and its low usage by automobile makers made it get phased out and the opportunities untapped.
P-series fuels is a blend of three powerful alternative fuel namely; natural gas liquid, ethanol and methyltetrahydrofuran which is derived from biomass. It is usually pure and clean, free from impurities and is filled with high octane.
Solar power can be defined as the mother of all alternative fuels as it is one of the most widely used if not the most used of all alternative fuels. It is derived using solar panels to harness the energy of the sun and convert it into electric energy which can be used to power just about anything.
PROS AND CONS OF ALTERNATIVE FUEL
Pros:
It has good fuel economy as it lasts longer than the conventional diesel and gasoline.
It is Environmentally friendly as the production does not in any way negatively impact the earth or damage natural habitats.
The ease of getting its raw materials makes it sustainable and gives continuity a chance.
Decreased emissions means it produces low carbon monoxide emissions and it is not too toxic to humans as it is very small compared to conventional fuels emissions.
It is renewable as it is not a one use fuel. Solar panels can still be reused times and over without needing to change a thing as it is built to last long.
Alternative fuel means new job opportunities for people in related fields and this is a big boost for the economy.
Cons:
High cost of production in some cases can be very discouraging to people who might be interested in it.
Its performance cannot be compared to the cost conventional fuel types due to its low efficiency.
Its instability can make it unreliable sometimes with its reliance sometimes on other factors if it works or not.
Geography plays a major part in its development and sustainability as some geographical factors can stunts its progress.
The highlight of alternative fuels was when it got introduced into the automobile world. Some cars, tractors and trucks were built to run on alternative energy sources and some of them did excellently well which made people think more in its direction as a full-time substitute for the conventional fueled vehicles. This birthed the massive development of hybrid vehicles like the Toyota Hybrid automobile line. An hybrid vehicle is a vehicle that runs on dual power source i.e electric and conventional fuel.
Types of Hybrid vehicles
Series Hybrid is designed in a way whereby the electric power source handles the thrust and every other tasks in the car while the gasoline side of it recharges its power cells.
Parallel Hybrid features a connection between the electric motor and gasoline engine in a dual transmission that blends the two power sources to work simultaneously.
Plug-in Hybrid is built featuring a very large battery pack that can last between 5 to 15 miles of electric transmission use depending on the battery capacity and when the electric power source runs out, it automatically switches to gasoline powered engine to power the vehicle.
Pros:
It is environmentally friendly as it does not discharge much carbon emissions.
Reduced gasoline fuel consumption.
Less dependence on conventional fuels l.
Regenerative braking system which charges your battery with each brake use.
Features small engines to reduce body weight of vehicle.
Auto start and off of the vehicle helps tp conserve power.
High second hand value.
Cons:
Not suited for too much acceleration which can make it discharge quickly.
Can be expensive with the cheapest of it costing $10,000 more compared to a regular vehicle of the same size.
Battery replacement is very pricey.
Battery disposal may pose a threat to the environment.
Although, alternative fuels have been well accepted as a substitute for other fuels, it is yet to be widely adopted by all and sundry but with legislation by countries like the UK banning conventional fueled vehicles in years to come and the US Navy using algae based fuel to power some of their vehicles, we hope that it will gain more ground and be put to use worldwide before 2035.

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