Alternatives to petrol play a role in meeting the objectives of cleaner air, reducing demands on foreign petroleum and diversity of transportation fuel. Petrol alternatives can provide lower emissions, cost savings and insulation from petroleum price variance. Purchasing more efficient, lower emission gasoline-powered vehicles provide benefits similar to alternative fuels, most often at a lower first cost. Reduction in the miles traveled in both fleet and private vehicles proves to be the most beneficial action. The alternative fuels or alternative to fuels (i.e. fuel economy) are listed below in order of their significance in the marketplace over time.
Compressed natural gas (CNG) is a compressed form of the natural gas commonly used in homes for cooking and heating. Widely recognized as a reliable and clean fuel source, CNG has become a cheaper, cleaner and efficient fuel for road transport as it is not reliant on world oil prices and is more environment friendly. Major transport fleet operators are increasingly choosing CNG over diesel, petrol and even liquid petroleum gas (LPG).
Liquid petroleum gas (LPG) is extracted from natural gas or derived as a byproduct of the petroleum industry. LPG is a fossil fuel that is domestically available in abundance and which produces less harmful greenhouse gases and air pollutants. The utilization of LPG as a vehicle fuel provides convenience, enhances energy security, improves the environment and public health and offers performance benefits.
Electricity can be used as a transportation alternative fuel for battery-powered electric and fuel-cell vehicles. Battery powered electric vehicles store power in batteries that are recharged by plugging the vehicle into a standard electrical source. Electricity for transportation is highly efficient without combustion or pollution.
Biofuels are liquid or gaseous fuels, primarily produced from biomass, and can be used to replace some fossil fuels. Crops used to make biofuels are generally either high in sugar, such as sugar cane. Ethanol and biodiesel are biofuels commonly used in transportation. It can be used in most existing motor vehicles and are pretty easy to handle. It usually produces less air pollutants than petroleum based fossil fuels.
Hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe, but it doesn’t exist on Earth as a gas it is produced by coal, liquefied petroleum gas, or biomass. Hydrogen (H2) is being explored as a fuel for passenger vehicles. It is an environmentally friendly fuel that will reduce our dependence on imported oil. Hydrogen produces no air pollutants or greenhouse gases when used in fuel cells, but several significant challenges must be overcome before it can be widely used.
The advantages of using alternative fuels may be surprising; but very helpful in reducing environmentally harmful emissions. Besides, using hydrogen cells, natural gas engines, and biofuel will be more convenient and cost less and it is also good for our health. The long-term benefits of using alternative fuels could prove to be worth the price.