Automobile News, Opinion

Fuel for NextGen Cars makes our future green

Just Promenade along one of the most densely populated cities in India and you will  find yourself being warmly saluted by thick dark smog that covers the area .Oh yes ! We are talking about something that practically affects every single being around you on this planet aye, its air pollution ! It prematurely is responsible for deaths of  a mind-blowing 6 million people per year across the globe.It is the main cause of “global warming” and cancer.

Today’s on-road vehicles produce over the third of the carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxides in our atmosphere and over twenty percent of the global warming pollution.Do you know USA alone is responsible for 30.3% gas emissions on a global scale ,33% of Chinese people live in such polluted and poisonous environments that the air they breath is equivalent to smoking 2 packets of cigarettes every day. In Asia smog is so thick in the skies in some areas that you cant even see the starts at night .Automobiles alone  are responsible for 40-90% of the air pollution.

Delhi Covered In Thick Smog
Delhi Covered In Thick Smog

This increasing demand and dependence on fossil fuels is sole the reason for air pollution due to automobiles. Do you know  just in Delhi alone 1400 new cars are added to its roads daily .We have to take an initiative to bring upon a change.A change that will provide clean , renewable  and sustainable fuel that powers our cars and bikes and our future generations to come .These futuristic fuels are the brain child of scientists who did Intense research and development .

 

BIO FUEL : MOTHER NATURE TO REHABILITATE

Thumbs up: clean , green . Renewable fuel.It is already involved in mass production and use in major countries around the globe.

Thumbs down:  Enormous amounts bio mass needed for large scale Bio fuel production, reduced mileage for your vehicle .

The Bottom Line :  Their potential is unstoppable when production starts on a massive scale and gas emissions can be effectively reduced by a large amount .

It would be an underlying statement to say that Bio-Fuel cannot replace the entire fossil fuel dependence , they give a promising future to the ever growing need for fuel to run the economy and our daily lives .Before we move to Bio Fuel and its production, lets have a basic introduction to what Bio Fuel is. Bio Fuel’s are made from conversions of bio mass ( refers to recent living organisms – mostly plants and plant derived products) .When we dig the earth for fossil fuels we are retrieving fuel which geologically have been carbon fixed millions of years ago.biofuel is a fuel that contains energy from geologically recent carbon fixation. These fuels are produced from living organisms .Bio Fuel are subject to intense scientific research and innovations. In this article We are going  to talk about Bio Diesel and Bio ethanol which can be used to run our cars.

BIO DIESEL:

Bio Diesel  is a domestically manufactured renewable fuel with possible ingredients being vegetable oil, animal fats, grease or even used restaurant oil. It is a cleaner and a greener replacement for the use of petroleum Diesel . Bio Diesel is commonly referred as B100 or simply BIO DIESEL  in its pure liquid form without any natural diesel or petroleum mixed in it .The good news is a normal diesel engine can be powered by a  B100 and whats more interesting, is you can prepare B100 at home without any investments.

Still ain’t impressed ? Well these statistics will convince you to move to B100. It is 100% renewable and cars that run on it produce no soot. CO2 emissions are reduced up to a mind boggling 50 % and there wont be even traces of SO2 from your exhaust.This is the cleanest and matchless replacement for your car

BIO ETHANOL:civic_biomass

Bio Ethanol is principle substitute for  petroleum ,commonly used with different blends of ethanol and gasoline. Bio Ethanol is predominantly manufactured by fermentation of sugars , although it can be produced industrially by steaming ethylene .

The main ingredient to make ethanol sugar comes from fuel crops .Fuel crops consists of corn, maize and wheat crops, waste straw, willow and popular trees, sawdust, reed canary grass, cord grasses, jerusalem artichoke, myscanthus and sorghum plants.Ethanol blends are widely sold in USA and Brazil. The most commonly used blend is the E10 it is blend of 10 % ethanol and 90% gasoline .

Almost all cars made after 1986 can safely run on E10, while most cars made before 1986 cannot. The Australian Federal Chamber for Automotive Industries (FCAI) maintains a list of cars and bikes that can safely run on E10

The clear advantage here is that it is renewable and is a infinite source of fuel i.e crops are not finite and they can be reproduced any number times.We also will have a upper hand of reducing the green house emissions by a significant amount.

 

HYDROGEN FUEL : THE LIGHTEST ELEMENT TO THE RESCUE.

Thumbs Up           :  Has the highest amount of energy per kilogram than any other fossil fuel. The only byproduct is pure water .

Thumbs Down   :    Production on massive scale is a tedious and expensive process .Handling Hydrogen is burdensome due to its explosive nature.

The Bottom Line :  Though on paper, it looks as if its a very promising production on a large scale, it is onerous on problems with handling and storage being tedious and not yet developed enough for a large scale usage .

Honda-fcx-clarity-IAA_2011
THE HONDA FCX

The dream car is finally here, the one that produces no green house gases ,one that doesn’t use gasoline and has exhaust as pure water
.Ofcourse you cannot  buy one yet , unless you live in California you can lease one . So whats that mystery fuel that will run this car ? yes ,  it is Hydrogen the lightest element and one of the most abundant element in our periodic table . It is estimated that in the coming  20-30 years people will drive Hydrogen powered cars . Whats fascinating is you can see these cars  producing steam instead of greenhouse gases. Many Hydrogen cars exist  but unfortunately most of them are conceptual. These clean energy driving machines include the Chevrolet Equinox, the BMW 745h and the one that’s currently available for lease in California, the Honda FCX.

What makes this dream car run on simple Hydrogen is a FUEL CELL which produces electricity . Similar to the fuel cell used in Apollo 11 expect that it is a miniature version. It takes pure Hydrogen and is oxidized by pure and produces large amounts energy and water as simple by product.

BATTERY POWER : THE ERA OF ELECTRIC CARS 

Thumbs Up: Ultra silent engine . Literally no exhaust from the car .Electric motors gives a smoother ride and better performance

Thumbs Down : The unfortunate and clear disadvantage is the amount of fossil fuel ( coal) is burnt to produce that amount electricity is unimaginable .

The Bottom Line : Electric cars were dream of the car inventors , ever since they faced so many grinding tasks.Finally days have come where its no longer a dream but a reality .

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Tesla model SFD

All Electric vehicles (EV) run on 100% electricity. A Muscular DC motor lies in the heart of these cars which sets them aside from the rest of the cars which traditionally ran on a combustion motor. Battery technology has seen a lot many changes in the past twenty years, the lithium -ion battery was the revolution. These batteries are lighter and have the capacity to store more power but unfortunately it stores substantially less energy than Hydrogen or fossil fuels .These Electric vehicles have very clear advantages and precedence over the traditional Internal Combustion Engines (ICE).

Efficiency : Electric motors convert about 60% of its power from the power grid to its wheels .Conventional gasoline engines convert only about 10% of the energy provided by the fuel.

Absolutely Eco-friendly : These vehicles  have  no tailpipe , no pollutants, although the power plant producing the electricity may emit them. Electricity from nuclear-, hydro-, solar-, or wind-powered plants causes absolutely no Green House gases.

Enhanced Performance : When it comes to acceleration and on-road performance these EV’s rule out the gasoline engines .The ride is undoubtedly smooth and quieter .

However these Ev’s face great battery challenges and most Ev’s run only about 100-200 miles before they run out of fuel when compared to gasoline engines which run about 200 -300 miles.Just to paint the picture of  battery capacity of the most promising Ev’s today . The Chevy VOLT has massive 170kg li-ion battery but runs only about 60 miles . Interestingly some pure Ev’s have managed to push their range further . The MINI manages a range of 240km on a single charge but it had to be fitted with a massive 300kg battery , designers had to remove the back seats.

 

COMPRESSED AIR POWER : CARS THAT VIRTUALLY RUN ON PURE AIR 

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Peugeot 208,

An internal combustion engine powers itself on compressed air produced by the burning fuel that moves the pistons up and down , so conceptually if we can supply  compressed air to the pistons we can achieve the same movement to drive the vehicle. Peugeot Citroen invented technology for air car ready for the market by 2016 . The Peugeot 208, it will combine a normal engine with a the  new revolutionary system that runs on compressed air. The air power can mostly be used only at  the city speeds i.e below 43mph , the company predicts that with this combination these cars can give upto 118 miles per gallon. These cars are no different from normal cars expect for the adapted gear box ,and  cylinders to store compressed air .

 

Bottom Line: Technology is a double edged knife. We can use it for better future rather than for destructive purpose. Everything lies in our hands!!!

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I am a person whose is passionate for excellence , no matter in which level I am I don't hesitate to learn something new .Anything related cars and bikes have being my passion since I was young and I feel so privileged to be able to write articles on them.