We previously looked at alternative sources of powering vehicles that do not involve petrol, and by extension – diesel. These solutions are designed to be more environmentally conscious and to take pressure off non-renewable sources of power for vehicles while being more affordable.
While some of these solutions are still in testing, some of them are only temporary solutions until permanent solutions are developed. Some of them are more expensive compared to fossil fuels, defeating the idea of alternative power sources. Some are additions to the internal combustion engines (ICE), making them more efficient and cost less to operate. Other examples of alternative power sources include:
1. Nitrogen gas:
Nitrogen can be compressed and liquefied and used to power vehicles. When nitrogen is heated, it becomes a high-pressure gas that can be used to cause rotary motion in the engine to push the car. There are concerns about developing Nitrogen gas as a mainstream energy source including it being a less efficient energy source compared to fossil fuels. It also requires electricity to produce nitrogen gas; in the long run, it may produce more emissions than fossil fuels and still be less energy efficient.
Many vehicle manufacturers are beginning to incorporate solar technologies into their vehicles. Some are powered entirely by solar energy like the Lightyear One, while others incorporate it into their electric vehicles like Fisker, Hyundai, and Renault motors. Engineers are convinced it is the ultimate solution for alternative energy to power vehicles.
Plugin hybrid makes use of ICEs and electric motors. They store energy in the battery using the rotary motion from the engine and tires and then use the battery to power its electric motor. The Plugin hybrid is the most viable option for reducing emissions and burning fossil fuels, especially in places where electricity can be a challenge. Toyota is at the forefront of plug-in hybrid technology with its Prius.
LPG means liquefied petroleum gas, and can be used to power different engine types. It was previously burnt and wasted at refineries before use cases were developed for it. It is becoming an increasing technology, especially in the UK. It makes use of waste materials from refineries.
5. Natural gas:
Natural gas – the kind used for cooking and home heating can also be used to power cars. It significantly drops the CO2 emissions by 25%, and that of fine particles by about 95%. Because most stations in charge of natural gasses have underground pipe networks, indirect emissions for transporting natural gas are significantly reduced.
These alternatives to petrol may not be in mainstream production, but they make options available for taking pressure off non-renewable fuel sources. Technologies like solar are promising and have a great future ahead of them in terms of energy production.