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What Are Alternative Fuels?


Alternative fuels are fuels that can be used to produce energy without using conventional sources such as fossil fuels or nuclear energy. As the cost of fossil fuels increase and the environmental damage caused by burning them becomes more apparent, the search for viable alternative fuel sources are becoming more prevalent. There are numerous options that use either a completely different source of energy, or a combination of conventional fuels and alternative fuels. Auto makers around the world are starting to realize the need for more efficient, earth-friendly methods and are beginning to release vehicles that use less fuel and emit fewer greenhouse gasses.

Biodiesel is one of the leading alternative fuels in use today. Made from vegetable oils and animal fats, it is completely biodegradable and nontoxic and produces very little greenhouse gas. It is also much less flammable than petroleum diesel and if spilled does not create an environmental disaster. It is better for the diesel engine because it lubricates better and can directly replace traditional diesel fuel, often with no alteration to the vehicle required. Biodiesel also contains more than three times the energy that it takes to produce it and can be manufactured domestically, thus reducing the dependence on politically unstable countries created by the need for petroleum.

Biogas is naturally produced from landfills, agricultural and industrial wastes and sewage systems. It is also produced by animal waste and is created by the anaerobic (oxygen-free) decomposition of organic waste. It is composed mainly of the two most prevalent greenhouse gases, methane and carbon dioxide. Some of the benefits of biogas are that it is domestically produced and eliminates the release of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. It can be used as a replacement for natural gas in household and vehicle us and once the process of refining biogas has been perfected, it will be able to be distributed via the same methods as natural gas.

There are many other forms of alternative fuel, but these are two of the most promising. By decreasing or eliminating the use of fossil fuels, greenhouse gas production is greatly reduced. These two alternative fuels also recycle products that would otherwise go to waste. In the case of biofuel, it is actually harmful greenhouse gas in such a manner as to eliminate its effect on the environment while at the same time eliminating the need for using fossil fuels for energy. Alternative fuels are the smart, responsible way to fuel homes and vehicles as well as reduce mankind's negative impact on the Earth.

What You Can Do
Spread the word
  • Tell people you conserve energy and use enery efficient appliances.
  • Read a book that explains how to conserver energy.
  • Look for small ways you can conserve energy every day.
Where you can buy it
Your Complete Guide To Renewable Energy
Your Green Home
The Party's Over: Oil, War And The Fate Of Industrial Societies
Get the Facts
Why Conserve Energy - National Wildlife Federation
Conserve Energy - Help Save the World
Reduce Energy - U.S. Dept. of Energy
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