Alternative Alternatives For Alternative Fuels Essay

2307 Words10 Pages
CHOICES FOR ALTERNATE FUELS
Gasoline dominates in today’s industry and has a significant impact on the face of the earth in terms of climate change and economy. Some of the important and practical alternatives to current option – fossil fuels-primarily gasoline and diesel, and the Issues related to them are discussed in the following text.
Biodiesel
Concept: Continued use of petroleum sourced fuels is now widely recognized as unsustainable because of depleting supplies and the contribution of these fuels to the accumulation of carbon dioxide in the environment. Renewable, carbon neutral, transport fuels are necessary for environmental and economic sustainability. Biodiesel derived from oil crops is a potential renewable and carbon neutral alternative to petroleum fuels. Biodiesel from oil crops, waste cooking oil and animal fat can realistically just satisfy a small fraction of the existing demand for transport fuels. Microalgae currently seem to be a promising source of renewable biodiesel that is capable of meeting the large volume demand for transportation fuels. Like plants, microalgae use sunlight to produce oils but they do so more efficiently than crop plants.
Parent oil used in making biodiesel consists of triglycerides (Fig. 1) in which three fatty acid molecules are esterified with a molecule of glycerol. In making biodiesel, triglycerides are reacted with methanol in a reaction known as transesterification or alcoholysis. Transestrification produces methyl
Get Access