Learn all about carbon-neutral alternative fuels here!
Carbon neutral refers to carbon-based fuels that when burned will not contribute to the carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere. They do not increase or decrease the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
The carbon dioxide in the atmosphere serves as a food plant and also helps to keep the planet warm. However, the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere should not be too much. As it can lead to global warming and also cause climate change.
Switching to carbon-neutral fuels can make a big difference in reducing the accumulation of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
The way it works is that when carbon-neutral fuels burns, the carbon released in the process is absorbed by plants. That will in turn generate the next carbon-neutral fuels to be burned.
Greenhouse gases including CO2 enter the atmosphere through different human and industrial activities. When we travel in either diesel or gasoline-powered cars.
We add to the concentration of greenhouse gases (GHG) in the atmosphere. This is because the burning of these fuels results in the release of carbon dioxide into the air.
The use of carbon-neutral fuel can drastically help to reduce carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Thus, help to reduce global warming.
Carbon-neutral fuels are also called biofuels. Most people believe that biofuels are the future. Since it is manufactured from organically derived resources like vegetable oil and animal fats which can be recycled.
Examples of pure biofuels include bio-butanol, bio-ethanol, and bio-diesel; they are all carbon neutral as the CO2 released when they are burned is absorbed by plant crops.
Biodiesel is the most common carbon-neutral fuel that you will find around. Since it is produced from organically derived resources such as vegetable oil and animal fats. It can be used to recycle different waste materials.
Biodiesel is available in a wide range of blend percentages and there are filling stations that dispense biodiesel in the U.S. Also, there are individual homebrewers who produce their biodiesel.
Bioethanol is ethanol based and it is gotten from the fermentation of plant starches like sugarcane, corn, agricultural waste, and switchgrass.
However, it should not be confused to be ethanol which is a result of a chemical reaction with petroleum and is not renewable.
Methanol is an alcohol that is made from corn, sugar, or wheat via a process that is similar to brewing. Fuel from methanol is considered to be the most energy-efficient to produce.
At normal temperatures, it possesses high octane rating and a lower energy density as compared to gasoline. It is possible to use methanol on its own or mix it with other fuels.
However, it can be slightly more corrosive than regular fuels and as a result, engines using this type of fuel will require engine fuel system modifications.
This is microalgae and is a source of carbon-neutral alternative fuel. Several efforts have been put into the research to use algae as a biofuel but till date, there has been no significant success.
The liquid microalgae produced are perceived to have the ability to be used as a source of biofuels.
In conclusion, the solution to carbon and other greenhouse gas emissions is to develop more alternative carbon-neutral fuels that are not from petroleum.
The major challenge with this is that finding an alternative that is sufficiently available, economical, environmentally friendly, and renewable can be difficult.