There is a great dependence on the exhaustible fuel supplies. This has resulted in severe shortage of alternative and natural fuels today.
In many countries around the world, the use of petroleum and diesel for transportation is increasing at a great pace, even as the fuel reserve keeps diminishing. This has fuelled the increase in petroleum and diesel price around the world causing a lot of hue and cry. At times like this, Green Vehicles are the best options as they are cost effective, environment friendly and economically viable.
What Is A Green Vehicle?
Green Vehicle is a vehicle which does not solely depend upon Petroleum and Diesel and uses natural sources of energy, such as:
• Electric Cars
• Air Pressure/Steam
• Solar Energy
• Liquid Nitrogen
• Wood gas et cetera
Using ethanol for fuel is not a recent development. Ford launched a car which ran on Ethanol as a fuel, as early as 1908. During those times, ethanol or Bio-Alcohol was produced in Farms, but this practice was later vetoed. It was not until the Seventies when the Oil prices staggered the world, that the idea of using ethanol as a car fuel made its comeback. Ethanol is a renewable source of energy which can be produced from starch, sugarcane, beet and grains.
Vehicles today run on a mix of Ethanol and Gasoline. The amount of ethanol you mix with the fuel depends upon the vehicle and the climate of the area.
Ethanol is less volatile than gasoline and hence the colder nations can use even up to 85% mix of Ethanol. This mixture is referred to as E85 which is used to power engines. In warmer countries E100 or 100% Ethanol can be used to fire up vehicles.
Biofuels are energy sources in a liquid form. They are derived from plants and their byproducts. There is a need for more research in this area, due to the alarming price rise of petroleum products. There are various types of Biofuels, such as:
• Bioethanol/Bioalcohol: Derived from starch, sugar and grains.
• Biodiesels: Derived from oils and fats of different plants, flowers and algae.
• Vegetable Oil: Made from processed lower quality edible vegetable oil.
• Bioethers: Fuel oxygenates which greatly increase engine life.
• Biogas: A methane content gas made by processing organic content.
• Syngas: A toxic mixture made by semi burning of Biomass.
Switchgrass is a tall grass found in the warmer regions of United States and Canada. It is used for several purposes including soil conservation and also as a source of Biomass used in making Biofuels. Switchgrass can also be used as cattle fodder.
There are many advantages of using Switchgrass as a fuel such as low erosion, less prone to pests and weeds, ability to grow in less fertile lands and ease of management. Since they are deep rooted, they are also a good choice for flood hit areas. Due to the various advantages it offers, Switchgrass is being researched as a highly prospective producer of Biofuels.