Alternative Fuel Sources - What Is Alternative Fuel?

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Alternative Fuel Sources - What Is Alternative Fuel

Alternative fuel sources offer the promise of an energy independent future for countries like the United States which now depend heavily on oil - much of which must be imported. Oil, natural gas and coal are often called "fossil fuels," because their original source is mostly plant and animal remains left in the ground millions of years ago.

This video answers the question what is alternative fuel and provides a basic introduction to alternative fuel sources you may not have heard much about before. These alternative fuels can be used in dozens - in fact, hundreds - of ways to promote energy independence without depleting fossil fuel resources.

These fuels are also generally cleaner than fossil fuels, meaning there are fewer wastes, by-products, pollutants and greenhouse gases seeping into the ground or the atmosphere, possibly causing environmental damage and climate change.

Biodiesel - Biodiesel offers some interesting possibilities as an alternative fuel source because it can be made from certain types of vegetable oils. Cars can be converted to burn biodiesel fuel.

Bioalcohol - Four types of alcohol can be used as a alternative fuel sources. They are methanol, propanol, ethanol, and butanol. Bioalcohols are mostly made from corn, and are already being used in various ways in cars and other vehicles.

Hydrogen fuel cells- The potential for this type of alternative fuel is tremendous because it can be used not just for vehicles, but for almost anything that uses batteries like hand held devices, portable generators and more.

Biomass - Biomass fuels come from a wide variety of organic materials from plants and animals. Nearly any organic waste is considered to be "biomass:" wood, crops, manure, and even the organic components of everyday trash.

Algae Based Fuel - Algae, that scummy-looking green gunk that grows on the top of ponds, just might be one of the miracle alternative fuel sources of the future.

Biogas - Have you ever heard of "swamp gas?" It's just one of the types of non-fossil methane which may help power the planet someday. Biogas forms in swamps, marshes and landfills. Sewage sludge and manure are sources of biogas too.

Grassoline - Scientists have been working on alternative fuels that can actually be made from a type of grass known as switchgrass. Switchgrass can be converted into ethanol in the lab, and there is a possibility that this discovery will lead to new breeds of grass capable of replacing corn as the primary source of bioalcohol.

Flow batteries or chemically stored electricity - We're all familiar with how batteries work. But new types of batteries, called flow batteries, work differently from the traditional lead acid types that have been around for decades. A flow battery uses chemicals, charged with electricity, that are drained into storage tanks.

This energy is held in reserve in the storage tank until needed. The flow of the battery is then reversed, and the electricity can be used as an alternative power source.

Research into alternative fuel sources is ongoing. In addition to the sources mentioned above, there is progress made being made into alternative energy sources like solar and wind power.

The possibilities seem endless, and alternative fuel sources truly do hold the key to a cleaner, greener future using renewable energy for all of us.
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