Fueling up your car may one day be as easy as cleaning out the refrigerator or taking out the trash, according to Edmunds.com.
Here’s a list of some of the innovations in alternative fuels being researched:
• Garbage: Waste Management Inc. is liquefying and purifying landfill gas to fuel trucks, so the method is already in use. Producing liquid gas reduces emissions — and the stink.
• Soybeans and animal fats: Soybeans, vegetable oil and animal fats can be used to make clean, nontoxic diesel fuel. Diesel engines need few or no modifications to accommodate this biodiesel fuel.
• Sawdust: The lumber industry generates thousands of tons of sawdust each year. An add-on wood “gasifier” allows the dust to fuel the automobile.
• Corn: E85 flex-fuel engine vehicles run on E85 ethanol, most, if not all, of which is derived from corn. Right now, E85 is slightly less potent and more expensive, but it has potential. Many consider corn ethanol to be environmentally harmful, however, which is an obvious obstacle in the way of becoming more mainstream.
• Hemp: Fermented oils of hemp seeds or stalks can be used to create a biodiesel fuel that is both cheap and efficient. The plant can also be fermented to make ethanol.
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