Monday, January 26, 2009

Green friendly motoring: Gas up your car with Bio-fuels

The alarming effects of pollution in the environment added with the fast depletion and rising costs of fossil fuels, has prompted scientific communities and governments to create measures to alleviate these problems the world over.

One of the solutions that sprang up from laboratories are bio- fuels- plant extracts and compounds which when added to gasoline and petrol will substitute fuel characteristics.

Bio- fuels certainly aids the environment as they are biological in nature and therefore do not add carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Coming from carbon dioxide digesters in nature, they typically remove carbon dioxide and in turn give off the same amount when burnt.

Though still in the introduction stage in the market, bio- fuels has proven to be promising with surprising results- they do not only cost much less to make than gasoline or petrol additives, but elaborate tests has proven that they can also improve vehicle performance and clean emissions! Further tests conducted have also proven that bio-fuels eliminate smog and engine build-up.

A lot of oil companies are slowly picking up the pace in marketing these types of fuel and a lot are reporting sales steadily on the rise due to the affordability and added benefits. There are also new oil market players that cater exclusively to the production and distributing bio-fuels and by-products, now gaining influence off the growing demand for cheaper and cleaner fuel alternatives.

Bio-fuel variants largely used in vehicles today include:

1. Bio- Diesel

For diesel engines. This type of fuel can be used with existing cars with little or no adaptation needed and scores well on the energy ratings. Cars on Bio- Ethanol basically land the same rankings as those running on gasoline. The difference however shows up on the combustion process as Bio-Ethanol only emits the carbon dioxide it has used up in the growth process of its plant source, while burning gasoline or diesel adds more CO2 into the atmosphere due to their underground containment in oil deposits for eons of years.

Large sources of plant extracts usually come from the following:

* Ethanol alcohol from Sugarcane
* Oil extracts from mature Jathropa seeds
* Coconut oil

2. Biogas

Another interesting alternative to fossil fuels, Biogas is the type of gas from animal or plant wastes or a combination of both. A mixture of both has been proven to yield the best results. The animal wastes produce the nitrogen for bacterial growth and vegetable matter supplies the needed carbon.

With the positive market feedback, researchers are still looking and testing other viable plant sources for an even improved fuel additive which will eventually (should the need arise) power vehicles in the future.

As a motorist this is truly a great news- now you’ll get relief over fuel costs and maintenance bills but the most rewarding above all is that in using bio-fuels, you’re contributing to the welfare of your environment.

Drive safely.

Jovir Amatong

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