A threefold understanding would emphasize the importance of alternative energy resources in the near future
- The reasons behind why the mentality towards the use of alternative energy resources will change, over the next half century.
- How this change (i.e. the use of alternative energy) will affect car technology.
- The various types of alternative energy resources that are available, or currently under research, especially for use in cars
The alternative energy advantage is the fact that they are renewable! We will never go short on supplies of renewable energy. For instance, solar energy – the sun will always be there! – the quantity of solar electricity intercepted by the Earth each 60 second is greater than the energy quantity that the entire human race uses in fossil fuels each year.
Wind energy – the wind will always exist – The power in the winds that blow across the US annually produces more than 16 billion GJ of electricity. Tidal energy – the moon will always be here and so will its forces that cause tidal waves. Hydroelectric energy – water energy will always be available unless there is an extreme change in rain patterns or droughts. Another advantage is that renewable energy is green; hence they don’t exude CO2, which is indeed the biggest provider to global temperature rises, into the atmosphere.
Bio-fuels are carbon neutral as manufacturing them depletes about as much CO2 as expending them produces. Considering these renewable energy advantages, it is apt for producing simple and inexpensive resources of energy. Non-renewable resources (for e.g. carbon-based fuels) are restricted – their supplies will eventually run out in the long run. Non-renewable resources like petroleum release CO2 into the surrounding atmosphere. These are inadequate sources of fuel that are speedily rarefying as the energy crisis is bearing down on us, continuously. Thus, we can firmly agree that the alternative resources are the Future and will provide for a Better Future.
What is the “future car”? A future car is a vehicle that runs on alternative fuels. “Alternative fuels” are fuels that are not made from petroleum. The types of alternative energy resources:
o Alcohols – ethanol and methanol.
o Compressed natural gas (CNG)
o Electricity – stored in batteries.
o Liquefied natural gas (LNG)
o Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG)
o Liquids made from coal – gasoline and diesel fuel that doesn’t come from petroleum.
o Biodiesel – a lot like diesel fuel, but made from plant oil or animal fat.
According to the experts, hydrogen-powered cars will be the next BIG change in our mode of transport. Theoretically it can be extracted from a wide variety of sources. The most common sources are Water; Natural gas (methane); Coal (via coal gasification); and Bio-mass (vegetation such as wood chips and agricultural waste).The processes for extracting hydrogen from these sources are diverse, predominantly in the case of water. To get hydrogen gas out of water, electrolysis is used-that is, electricity is used to extract the hydrogen molecules out of the water. From natural gas, a “reforming” process is used. For fossil fuels or biomass, the substrates are power-plant fuels themselves, which use them for generating both electric power and hydrogen.
The significance is plain and clear: we need an uncontaminated, renewable electric-generation technology. For now, the problem at hand is of discovering alternative energy solutions to power our vehicles. The mission is huge, but without doubt, it is attainable.