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Alternative fuels, known as non-conventional or advanced fuels, are any materials or substances that can be used as

fuels, other than conventional fuels. Conventional fuels include: fossil fuels (petroleum (oil), coal, propane, and
natural gas), as well as nuclear materials such as uranium and thorium, as well as artificial radioisotope fuels that are
made in nuclear reactors.

Some well-known alternative fuels include biodiesel, bioalcohol (methanol, ethanol, butanol), chemically stored
electricity (batteries and fuel cells), hydrogen, non-fossil methane, non-fossil natural gas, vegetable oil, and other
biomass sources.

The main purpose of fuel is to store energy, which should be in a stable form and can be easily transported to the
place of production. Almost all fuels are chemical fuels. The user employs this fuel to generate heat or perform
mechanical work, such as powering an engine. It may also be used to generate electricity, which is then used for
heating, lighting or electronics purposes.

Biofuels are also considered a renewable source. Although renewable energy is used mostly to generate electricity, it
is often assumed that some form of renewable energy or a percentage is used to create alternative fuels

Biomass in the energy production industry is living and recently dead biological material which can be used as fuel
or for industrial production..

Algae based fuels

Main article: Algae fuel

Algae based biofuels have been hyped in the media as a potential panacea to our Crude Oil based Transportation
problems. Algae could yield more than 2000 gallons of fuel per acre per year of production. [1] Algae based fuels are
being successfully tested by the U.S. Navy[2] Algae based plastics show potential to reduce waste and the cost per
pound of algae plastic is expected to be cheaper than traditional plastic prices.[3]


Biodiesel is made from animal fats or vegetable oils, renewable resources that come from plants such as, soybean,
sunflowers, corn, olive, peanut, palm, coconut, safflower, canola, sesame, cottonseed, etc. Once these fats or oils are
filtered from their hydrocarbons and then combined with alcohol like methanol, biodiesel is brought to life from this
chemical reaction. These raw materials can either be mixed with pure diesel to make various proportions, or used
alone. Despite one’s mixture preference, biodiesel will release a smaller number of its pollutants (carbon monoxide
particulates and hydrocarbons) than conventional diesel, because biodiesel burns both cleaner and more efficiently.
Even with regular diesel’s reduced quantity of sulfur from the ULSD (ultra-low sulfur diesel) invention, biodiesel
exceeds those levels because it is sulfur-free.[4]

Alcohol fuels
Main articles: Alcohol fuel, Butanol fuel, Ethanol fuel, and Methanol fuel

Methanol and Ethanol fuel are primary sources of energy; they are convenient fuels for storing and transporting
energy. These alcohols can be used in internal combustion engines as alternative fuels. Butanol has another
advantage: it is the only alcohol-based motor fuel that can be transported readily by existing petroleum-product
pipeline networks, instead of only by tanker trucks and railroad cars. [citation needed]


Ammonia can be used as fuel. A small machine can be set up to create the fuel and it is used where it is made.
Benefits of ammonia include, no need for oil, zero emissions, low cost, and distributed production reducing
transport and related pollution.
Carbon neutral and negative fuels

Carbon neutral fuel is synthetic fuel — such as methane, gasoline, diesel fuel or jet fuel — produced from renewable
or nuclear energy used to hydrogenate waste carbon dioxide recycled from power plant flue exhaust gas or derived
from carbonic acid in seawater Such fuels are potentially carbon neutral because they do not result in a net increase
in atmospheric greenhouse gases.[10][11] To the extent that carbon neutral fuels displace fossil fuels, or if they are
produced from waste carbon or seawater carbonic acid, and their combustion is subject to carbon capture at the flue
or exhaust pipe, they result in negative carbon dioxide emission and net carbon dioxide removal from the
atmosphere, and thus constitute a form of greenhouse gas remediation. Such carbon neutral and negative fuels can
be produced by the electrolysis of water to make hydrogen used in the Sabatier reaction to produce methane which
may then be stored to be burned later in power plants as synthetic natural gas, transported by pipeline, truck, or
tanker ship, or be used in gas to liquids processes such as the Fischer–Tropsch process to make traditional
transportation or heating fuels.

Carbon neutral fuels have been proposed for distributed storage for renewable energy, minimizing problems of wind
and solar intermittency, and enabling transmission of wind, water, and solar power through existing natural gas
pipelines. Such renewable fuels could alleviate the costs and dependency issues of imported fossil fuels without
requiring either electrification of the vehicle fleet or conversion to hydrogen or other fuels, enabling continued
compatible and affordable vehicles.[15] Germany has built a 250 kilowatt synthetic methane plant which they are
scaling up to 10 megawatts.[18][19][20] Commercial developments are taking place in Columbia, South Carolina,[21]
Camarillo, California,[22] and Darlington, England.[23]

The least expensive source of carbon for recycling into fuel is flue-gas emissions from fossil-fuel combustion where
it can be extracted for about USD $7.50 per ton.[8][11][16] Automobile exhaust gas capture has also been proposed to
be economical but would require extensive design changes or retrofitting.[24] Since carbonic acid in seawater is in
chemical equilibrium with atmospheric carbon dioxide, extraction of carbon from seawater has been studied. [25][26]
Researchers have estimated that carbon extraction from seawater would cost about $50 per ton. [9] Carbon capture
from ambient air is more costly, at between $600 and $1000 per ton and is considered impractical for fuel synthesis
or carbon sequestration.[11][12]

Nighttime wind power is considered the most economical form of electrical power with which to synthesize fuel,
because the load curve for electricity peaks sharply during the warmest hours of the day, but wind tends to blow
slightly more at night than during the day. Therefore, the price of nighttime wind power is often much less
expensive than any alternative. Off-peak wind power prices in high wind penetration areas of the U.S. averaged 1.64
cents per kilowatt-hour in 2009, but only 0.71 cents/kWh during the least expensive six hours of the day. [ Typically,
wholesale electricity costs 2 to 5 cents/kWh during the day. Commercial fuel synthesis companies suggest they can
produce fuel for less than petroleum fuels when oil costs more than $55 per barrel The U.S. Navy estimates that
shipboard production of jet fuel from nuclear power would cost about $6 per gallon. While that was about twice the
petroleum fuel cost in 2010, it is expected to be much less than the market price in less than five years if recent
trends continue. Moreover, since the delivery of fuel to a carrier battle group costs about $8 per gallon, shipboard
production is already much less expensive However, U.S. civilian nuclear power is considerably more expensive
than wind power. The Navy's estimate that 100 megawatts can produce 41,000 gallons of fuel per day indicates that
terrestrial production from wind power would cost less than $1 per gallon

Main article: Hydrogen fuel

Hydrogen is an emissionless fuel. The byproduct of hydrogen burning is water, although some mono-nitrogen
oxides NOx are produced when hydrogen is burned with air. [32][33]

Main article: HCNG

HCNG (or H2CNG) is a mixture of compressed natural gas and 4-9 percent hydrogen by energy.[34]
Liquid nitrogen

Liquid nitrogen is another type of emissionless fuel.

Compressed air

The air engine is an emission-free piston engine using compressed air as fuel. Unlike hydrogen, compressed air is
about one-tenth as expensive as fossil oil, making it an economically attractive alternative fuel.

Natural Gas Vehicles

Compressed natural gas (CNG) and Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) are two a cleaner combusting alternatives to
conventional liquid automobile fuels.

CNG Fuel Types

CNG vehciles can use both renewable CNG and non-renewable CNG.[35]

Conventional CNG is produced from the many underground natural gas reserves are in widespread production
worldwide today. New technologies such as horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing to economically access
unconventional gas resources, appear to have increased the supply of natural gas in a fundamental way.[36]

Renewable natural gas or biogas is a methane‐based gas with similar properties to natural gas that can be used as
transportation fuel. Present sources of biogas are mainly landfills, sewage, and animal/agri‐waste. Based on the
process type, biogas can be divided into the following: Biogas produced by anaerobic digestion, Landfill gas
collected from landfills, treated to remove trace contaminants, and Synthetic Natural Gas (SNG).[35]


Around the world, this gas powers more than 5 million vehicles, and just over 150,000 of these are in the U.S. [37]
American usage is growing at a dramatic rate.[38]

Environmental Analysis

Because natural gas emits little pollutant when combusted, cleaner air quality has been measured in urban localities
switching to natural gas vehicles [39] Tailpipe CO2 can be reduced by 15‐25% compared to gasoline, diesel.[40] The
greatest reductions occur in medium and heavy duty, light duty and refuse truck segments. [40]

CO2 reductions of up to 88% are possible by using biogas. [41]

Similarities to Hydrogen Natural gas, like hydrogen, is another fuel that burns cleanly; cleaner than both gasoline
and diesel engines. Also, none of the smog-forming contaminates are emitted. Hydrogen and Natural Gas are both
lighter than air and can be mixed together.[42]

Nuclear power and radiothermal generators

Main articles: Nuclear power and radiothermal generator

Nuclear reactors

Nuclear power is any nuclear technology designed to extract usable energy from atomic nuclei via controlled
nuclear reactions. The only controlled method now practical uses nuclear fission in a fissile fuel (with a small
fraction of the power coming from subsequent radioactive decay). Use of the nuclear reaction nuclear fusion for
controlled power generation is not yet practical, but is an active area of research.

Nuclear power is usually used by using a nuclear reactor to heat a working fluid such as water, which is then used to
create steam pressure, which is converted into mechanical work for the purpose of generating electricity or
propulsion in water. Today, more than 15% of the world's electricity comes from nuclear power, and over 150
nuclear-powered naval vessels have been built.

In theory, electricity from nuclear reactors could also be used for propulsion in space, but this has yet to be
demonstrated in a space flight. Some smaller reactors, such as the TOPAZ nuclear reactor, are built to minimize
moving parts, and use methods that convert nuclear energy to electricity more directly, making them useful for space
missions, but this electricity has historically been used for other purposes. Power from nuclear fission has been used
in a number of spacecraft, all of them unmanned. The Soviets up to 1988 orbited 33 nuclear reactors in RORSAT
military radar satellites, where electric power generated was used to power a radar unit that located ships on the
Earth's oceans. The U.S. also orbited one experimental nuclear reactor in 1965, in the SNAP-10A mission. No
nuclear reactor has been sent into space since 1988.

Radiothermal generators

In addition, radioisotopes have been used as alternative fuels, on both land and in space. Their use on land is
declining due to the danger of theft of isotope and environmental damage if the unit is opened. The decay of
radioisotopes generates both heat and electricity in many space probes, particularly probes to outer planets where
sunlight is weak, and low temperatures is a problem. Radiothermal generators (RTGs) which use such radioisotopes
as fuels do not sustain a nuclear chain reaction, but rather generate electricity from the decay of a radioisotope which
has (in turn) been produced on Earth as a concentrated power source (fuel) using energy from an Earth-based
nuclear reactor.[4

Fuel is any material that stores potential energy in a form that can be practicably released and used as heat energy.
The concept originally applied solely to those materials storing energy in the form of chemical energy that could be
released through combustion,[1] but the concept has since been also applied to other sources of heat energy such as
nuclear energy (via nuclear fission or nuclear fusion), as well as releases of chemical energy released through non-
combustion oxidation (such as in cellular biology or in fuel cells).

The heat energy released by many fuels is harnessed into mechanical energy via an engine. Other times the heat
itself is valued for warmth, cooking, or industrial processes, as well as the illumination that comes with combustion.
Fuels are also used in the cells of organisms in a process known as cellular respiration, where organic molecules are
oxidized to release un-usable energy. Hydrocarbons are by far the most common source of fuel used by humans, but
other substances, including radioactive metals, are also utilized.

Fuels are contrasted with other methods of storing potential energy, such as those that directly release electrical
energy (such as batteries and capacitors) or mechanical energy (such as flywheels, springs, compressed air, or water
in a reservoir).

wood, coal, peat, dung,

Solid fuels coke, charcoal

Liquid fuels petroleum diesel, gasoline, kerosene, LPG, coal tar, naptha, etha
Gaseous hydrogen, propane, coal gas, water gas, blast furnace gas, coke
natural gas
fuels oven gas, CNG