Hydrogen Fuel, Ethanol – Comparison of these New Technologies for
April 6th, 2006
Smart Fuel Cell
With the price of
gas on the rise and potential shortages this summer, not to mention the
news reporting that the global warming is actually melting the ice in
the arctic, you might be thinking about what other alternative fuels
Hybrid cars are
currently on the market today. Hybrid cars are a combination of
electric powered along with a gas power engine. The hybrid car will
switch from battery power and back to electric power during the drive as
the car changes speed automatically.
vehicles that are currently on the road have the ability to use regular
gas or ethanol based fuel. Ethanol is derived from usually corn. Gas
stations that offer ethanol based gas are most often found in the
Midwest of the United States. There is an effort by GM to expand the
awareness and the ethanol pumps across the US.
Ethanol has a
problem with being able to be inexpensively manufactured. This could be
overcome with the use of other plant materials. There is interest in
the use of wood chips treated with specific enzymes that would make it a
better ‘cellulosic ethanol’. If the automobiles were to run on 100
percent ethanol the automobile manufacturers would have to design a new
engine to accommodate the change over. It takes energy to process and
make the ethanol, so it still has some issues.
Hydrogen Fuel is
being explored for use in electric cars and also as a way to provide
electricity for a home. Hydrogen is one of the most common elements on
earth. The problem at this time with hydrogen fuel is the use of the
expensive metal called platinum which is needed for the conversion
process to make electricity. Another problem is the delivery and safe
storage of the highly volatile hydrogen gas which pose public safety
problems. The good part about hydrogen fuel is that the burn off from
the exhaust is water and nothing else. That would turn around the
pollution problem really quick if the other problems can be solved.
According to an
article on the clean-air.org website written by Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
that hybrid cars and other improvements on current cars should be made
first. He believes that Hydrogen Fuel technology would not be put into
action for another 10-20 years. President Bush wants to spend $1
billion over the next five years to develop the hydrogen fuel
technology. Kennedy makes a point about how the hybrid technology can
be implemented today to reduce needs for gas immediately and therefore
reduce or needs for oil importing. He also suggests that automobile
manufacturers should make more fuel efficient cars by implementing more
advanced transmissions, engine, and valve train technology.
makes sense since hydrogen fuel is not likely to happen in the very near
future. The cost of gas still looms over our heads, and shortages also
could start to show up too. The hybrid car is a great vehicle option
for saving on fuel and the environment. As more family vehicles arrive
on the market it will very likely catch on as this size of the vehicles
have been one of the downfalls.
Keywords and misspellings: hibrid car electric pryus acord
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