Alternative Fuel Sources Essay Research Paper Lines

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Alternative Fuel Sources Essay, Research Paper Lines and lines of pumps decorate the elaborate design of a gas station in the year 2030. As a new customer coasts up to the filling station, he notices that in addition to the usual 20th century choices – regular, super, and premium gasoline – there are four additional choices: ethanol, natural gas, hydrogen, and even electricity? No, this isn t a page from a futuristic comic book, but instead an accurate prediction of what a gas station might look like in 30 years. Pollution is an ever-widening problem in the world today that cannot be easily solved. Many methods have been developed to reduce pollution, but almost none of them has been proven effective in cars. Alternative methods of fuel such as ethanol, hydrogen, natural

gas, and even electricity (batteries), provide a sure-fire way of eliminating harmful emissions from cars. Perhaps most important, alternative fuel sources can resolve this concern not only efficiently, but also cost-effectively. It is true that in today s modern world, people care less and less about the environment, and governments are just as guilty by their indifference in controlling the matter of pollution. A survey by the California Energy Commission found that last year alone in California, people have driven for over 150 billion miles and have consumed almost 15 million gallons of gasoline along with it (California). Also, gasoline emits such poisonous gases as carbon monoxide and other ozone depleting chemicals, and that 15 million gallons of this harmful substance was

used in one state alone last year. For this reason, alternative sources of fuel must be implemented into cars as soon as possible. In order to fully understand the benefits of alternative fuels, an in-depth look must be taken into gasoline. Gasoline is made during the refinement of petroleum. It is composed of a long strand of hydrocarbons – arrangements of hydrogen and carbon atoms – which make it relatively inexpensive and enable it to create more energy for its weight (115,400 BTU’s per gallon) than almost any other fuel ( Clean ). Unfortunately, there is a downside to this long carbon chain. Because of its chemical makeup, gasoline doesn t fully burn during combustion. According to a study done by the U.S. Department of Energy, it found that the amount of harmful

emissions that are expelled into the air, such as carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, and other ozone depleting chemicals, that are byproducts of a car’s internal combustion, are enough to cause a theoretical green-house effect ( Replacement ). That is not the only problem with gasoline. Many other environmental hazards occur during the process of drilling for oil and petroleum. Oil spills cause millions of dollars worth of damages to plant and animal life, and also take countless years to clean up. Gasoline has become so popular because it is very cost-effective. Presently, a gas station can purchase a barrel of gasoline, which holds approximately 20 gallons, for only $10-$15. This is obviously extremely inexpensive, because experts were projecting only twenty years ago, that

the prices per barrel would be around $100 (Rist). Gasoline continues to grow in popularity as new oil sites are being found around the world. Gasoline is the most financially-practical fuel. It burns more efficiently than almost all fuels, and costs only a minute sum. While that is enough to convince most people not to switch to alternative fuels, it must be known that gasoline is not environmentally-practical. The emissions from gasoline are causing such terrible disasters as global warming and ozone depletion, which are both harmful to the people and the future of this planet. One type of alternative fuel, ethanol, is already in wide use. Ethanol is a grain alcohol, and can be produced from grains like corn or wheat. According to the magazine Chemology, Corn is the most