An Overview of Alternative Fuel Sources
Ethanol: This renewable fuel is an alcohol made from plant materials such as grasses, corn, and sugar cane. The use of ethanol as fuel has increased dramatically in the United States within the last 10 years because using ethanol can help reduce oil dependency and greenhouse gas emissions. Although it varies by region, most of the gasoline sold in the United States contains up to 10% ethanol.
Natural Gas: Comprised mostly of methane, this fossil fuel is one of the cleanest burning fuels. There are two forms of natural gas used to fuel cars: compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquefied natural gas (LNG). It is less expensive than gasoline and produces significantly less smog-producing pollutants. However, the downside is that is less readily available than gasoline and gets fewer miles on a tank.
Propane: Not just for grills, propane can also be used to power internal combustion engines without degrading vehicle performance. This fossil fuel is typically less expensive that gasoline and also produces lower amounts of harmful emissions. But like natural gas, propane gets fewer miles on a tank of fuel and isn’t as readily available.
Hydrogen: This environmentally-friendly fuel can be used in fuel cells to power electric motors or it can be burned in an internal combustion engine. The benefits of hydrogen is that is can be produced domestically and it doesn’t produce any air pollutants or greenhouse gases.