Published on October 22nd, 2007 | by Stephanie Evans1
When you start to think that $3.00 for a gallon of gasoline is cheap, it’s time to look at alternative sources of fuel! Tie this in with a growing social movement to reduce global warming caused by harmful greenhouse gas emissions, and it is no wonder that consumers are so readily embracing alternative fueled automobiles.
Typical fuels are considered to be fossil fuels. Petroleum (oil), coal, propane, and natural gas all make up the conventional fossil fuels. Gasoline, being made from petroleum, is a conventional fuel, so alternative fueled vehicles are ones that do not run from petroleum based fuel.
The U.S. Department of Energy has recognized the following as alternative fuels for automobiles:
- Alcohol based, such as ethanol or methanol
- Compressed natural gas that is made from compressed methane
- Biodiesel processed from biological sources such as vegetable oil or animal fat
- Electric motors
- Hydrogen fuel cells using hydrogen and oxygen gases
- Liquefied natural gas
- Liquefied coal
Although the Department of Energy recognizes some of the aforementioned fuels as alternative, it is due to the fact that they are an alternative to petroleum based fuels. Liquefied natural gas and liquefied coal are both fossil fuels. While they are cleaner burning fuels and emit far less greenhouse gases than gasoline, they are not renewable fuel sources.