What are the Most Common Green Fuels?

As far as our daily fuel requirements are concerned we mainly depend on fossil fuels like petroleum, gas, and so on. While these may be extremely efficient in producing the required energy but, the residual products which they leave, like CO2, is mostly considered to have harmful effects. Additionally, the current day studies are constantly pointing out to the fact that the excessive and reckless use of the fossil fuels is steadily leading to their exhaustion and if unchecked, mankind will not take long time to exhaust them totally from the face of the Earth.

Under such threats, focus is now largely being shifted to find alternative means of energy which are more environment friendly and are mainly being derived from plants and animals. These alternative energy sources are being referred to as green fuels or bio fuels and are known to cause less amount of pollution in their use. Now-a-days technology is also being used in a manner that helps in the production such green fuels like vegetable oils, biodiesels and so on.

What Different Types of Fuel are Available?

In our day to day life we come across different types of fuel amongst which some are better in terms of being friendlier towards the environment while others are not so. The most common types of fuel used are:

  1. Petrol: that is made from fossils and is known to produce harmful chemical on getting burned. In the current times, it is known to be one of the major factors responsible behind global warming and shows many signs of causing health problems.
  2. Diesel: that is not considered as efficient as petrol but, produces less harmful chemicals comparatively. It is also produced from the natural reserves of crude oil and cannot be re-used multiple times.
  3. Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG): that though is considered friendlier towards the environment but is mainly used in hybrid natured transports.
  4. Compressed Natural Gas (CNG): that is considered to be a very efficient fuel which also produces less harmful chemicals and gases like carbon dioxide and monoxide and is therefore becoming a popular choice for transport users who are converting their petrol or diesel engines to CNG.
  5. Bio-diesel: that is made from plant extracts like palm oil, rape seed, and sunflower plants and is known to have qualities similar to diesel. As it is a renewable source of fuel which also emits negligible quantities of harmful chemicals and toxic gases, the new age environment friendly cars are choosing bio-diesel as a fuel for themselves. Though the availability of bio-diesel is still not widespread but, it can be bought from petrol stations at a price which is much lower than diesel and unleaded petrol. Even the used oils of restaurants can be used as bio-diesels once you are able to filter them. The only negative part of bio-diesel it that it may cause deforestation of rain forests in order to grow the plants which can help in making bio-diesel.
  6. Bio-ethanol: that is considered to be a substitute for petrol and is also a re-usable source of energy. Bio-ethanol is known to have qualities same as that of bio-diesel however, it is not so popularly available all across the world. Brazil is one country which is seen to be increasing its use of bio-ethanol and in some parts of UK it is available as an alternate fuel option.

What are the Most Common Green Fuels?

As the concept of bio fuels is getting increasingly popular, different types of green fuels are being introduced in the market. The bio-fuels are being generated in solid, liquid, and gas forms and increasingly becoming popular in conditions where the petrol price hikes are steep and environmental concerns growing. Bio fuels have been produced over a period of two generation where the raw materials have changed and also the techniques of production have got further developed. In the first generation, bio fuel production took place from sources like vegetable oil, sugar and starch. Here are some of them:

  1. Ethanol: produced from fermentation of sugar and starch
  2. Bio-diesel: produced from oils and fats by a process called transesterification
  3. Bio-methanol: produced from biogas
  4. Green diesel: produced from hydrocracking of vegetable oils and animal fats
  5. Biogas: produced by decomposition of organic animal and plant material

In the second generation of producing green fuels, advanced technologies got used to treat a variety of biomass like agricultural remains, lignocellulosic material, and so on.

Are Green Fuels a Sustainable Source of Energy?

The best points of green fuels are that they produce 85% less CO2, sulphur, and hydrocarbons; they are cheaper and have a positive effect on health. Green fuels have now made it possible to recycle waste products like used cooking oils, animal fats, and crop residues. All the more since the chemical contents of green fuels are more or less the same as that of the fossil fuels which have been fuelling our cars for all these years. The only difference that the green fuels have with the fossil fuels is that their sources differ.

Therefore, scientific research has proved that if green fuels are used in place of the fossil fuels like petrol or diesel, the same sort of efficiency can be enjoyed but at a much lesser cost and also without harming the environment. Suggestions have also been given that if the hydrocarbons extracted from the green fuels are merged with the popularly used ones, it can produce green gasoline, less harmful petrol and diesel without compromising on the efficiency. Additionally, being used in things like generators it is seen that the working efficiency increases of the machine as green fuels are better lubricants and therefore enhance the working quality of engines. Thus, sustainability is not a problem faced with green fuels.

What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Green Fuels?

Ever since serious efforts are being taken to bring out more and more options green fuels in the market, the notion of people has changed remarkably towards this new form of energy. There is a general growing interest in comparing the bio-fuels with the fossil fuels and people are willing to think about both the positive and negative sides of this alternative energy source before making their choice.

Advantages of Green Guels

  1. Pricing: In the current scenario of fuel hikes and gap in between the demand and supply of oil, green fuels are available at a significantly lower cost and in good quantity.
  2. Source availability: While fossil fuels have a limited source of creation, green fuels can be generated from a variety of materials.
  3. Multiple uses: Unlike the fossil fuels, green fuels are re-usable.
  4. Secure: Often countries have to depend on each other for the supply of fossil fuels. On the other hand use of green fuels helps to reduce dependency on foreign countries and encourages the use of one’s own resources.
  5. Economic help: For producing green fuels, it is necessary to develop manufacturing plants which in return provides large scale employment in rural areas too.
  6. Low CO2 emission: One o the major plus points of using green fuel is that it significantly reduces the output of carbon and other toxic gases thereby reducing the environmental threat and pollution.

Disadvantages of Green Fuels

  1. Quantity and output: As the efficiency of green fuels is not as high as that of fossil fuels so, these need to be used in larger quantity than the traditional ones for the same energy output.
  2. Increased cost: As special manufacturing plants with better equipments are a necessity for green fuel production so, it usually asks for higher investment.
  3. Pricing: If agricultural crops get their importance as bio fuels too then, the market price is estimated to rise for the crops.
  4. Shortage of food: In case more and more land goes for growing bio fuel crops then the growth of other necessary crops may get hampered to create a food shortage.
  5. Large water need: For growing bio-fuel crops, the water requirement is bound to rise for the irrigation and this could create a strain on the local water facilities.

Thus, though the green fuels may not be a full proof solution for the energy problems of the world but in wake of the depleting fossil fuel reserves it is certainly a good idea to try the alternate options too.