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Alternate fuels - The future mobility solution
This resource contains the information on various alternative fuels which can be used for transportation in India. In this resource advantages and disadvantages of each alternate fuel has been discussed.
Alternate fuels in India:-
Petroleum is made from two words petra (rock) + oleum (oil) which means oil extracted from the rocks. Petroleum is along chain of hydrocarbons which have different molecular weights. These hydrocarbons are mostly includes alkanes, cycloalkanes and also the aromatic hydrocarbons. Also there are many organic compounds like nitrogen, oxygen and sulfur. When the crude oil is extracted and delivered to refinery then it varies with every lot because there is lot of variation in the crude oil. It has got very high energy and also present in good abundance therefore it has become the major source of energy in the mid 50's. Petrol is refined from pentane (C5H12) to Octane (C8H18) and diesel is refined from nonane (C9H20) to hexadecane (C16H34).
These molecules are separated by fractional distillation to produce different petroleum products. The chemical reaction for petrol distillation is as under:-
2 C8H18(l) + 25 O2(g) --> 16 CO2(g) + 18 H2O(g) + 10.86 MJ/mol (of octane)
Mode of transport
Petrol consumption is maximum in the transport sector. As the petrol is non renewable source of energy and also emit emissions while burning therefore there is need of high engine technologies as well as alternate fuels. Various environmental hazards related to petroleum are as under.
Accidents during extracting
Extracting oil is not a easy process. Lot of manpower is required who has to explore it to depth where accidents can happen.
When oil is burnt then there is emission of greenhouse gases which affects the ozone layer of the environment. Ozone layer is now depleting and can cause many human hazards.
Spills due to accidents
As crude oil is widely exported and imported by means of ships, so there can be accidents of these ships and the barrels of oil can be spilled in water and can heavily damage the marine life.
-As the current resources for the petroleum is diminishing, therefore there is wide need of some alternates for the petrol.
-Secondly petroleum products are very polluting in nature so as to curb there pollutants from the environment there is need of alternate fuels in the world.
Types of alternate fuels
As there is increase in production of vehicles in India there is high demand and consumption of fuel also. Gasoline is a non renewable source, therefore some measures has to be taken for alternate fuels to sustain energy security. Further high emissions are also one of the reasons that we need to find out some alternative sources that can produce low emissions.
Ethanol means ethyl alcohol. It is blend of gasoline with alcohol; however the percentage of alcohol varies from country to country and state to state. In India maximum percentage regulated by government is 10%, however this is not available in all parts of the country. Therefore generally ethanol in India is termed as E-10. E-10 means 10% blend of alcohol in gasoline.
Affects on the vehicles:
1) Emissions from vehicles:
Emission values highly improved if vehicles run with E-10. Polluting factors like CO, HC and NOx will reduce after optimization of engine with E-10.
Performance of the vehicle may go down in existing vehicle but can improve after Optimization.
Brazilian government has regulated 85% blend with gasoline. In Brazil most of the vehicles are running on either 85% blend or neat alcohol i.e. 100% ethanol. There is a concept of flexi fuel vehicles in Brazil which can run on any blend of ethanol.
Chemical reaction in Ethanol
6 CO2 + 6 H2O + light ---------> C6H12O6 + 6 O2
C6H12O6 ------------------------------> 2 C2H5OH+ 2 CO2 + heat
C2H5OH + 3 O2 ---------------------> 2 CO2 + 3 H2O + heat
Biodiesel is vegetable oil or animal fat based diesel fuel. Like ethanol it is also blended with diesel to reduce the emissions from the vehicle. It is also blended in percentages in diesel fuel. Some percentage like 10% or 20% can be directly used in the diesel vehicles but for use of pure biodiesel engine modifications needs to be done.
Number of feed stocks are there from where biodiesel can be prepared. Soybean oils are most commonly used but It also can be obtained from penny-cress and jatropha and other crops such as mustard, flax, sunflower, palm oil, and coconut. In India many of the experiments are going on with the jatropha plants. Details and specifications can be found in European standard EN 14214, ASTM International D6751.
Blending is again an issue in case of alternate fuels. There are many ways of blending which are as follows:-
- Mixing in tanks at manufacturing point
- Splash mixing
- In-line mixing
Compressed natural gas (CNG):
Compressed natural gas or CNG is also one of the alternates available today for various applications. CNG is prepared by compressing the natural gas i.e. methane. It is stored and distributed in hard containers and cylinders at a pressure of 200–248 bars. There are various reasons for choosing the natural gas as a fuel.
- It has got potential to meet higher emission norms.
- Reduction in Green house gases up to 40% as compared to Gasoline.
- Lower emission constituent amount (HC, CO, NOx).
- It is widely distributed around the world.
- No particulate and soot formation which is very important for environment.
- Clean technology
- Protects our environment which is the basic motive.
- Absence of any lead or benzene content in CNG, the lead fouling of spark plugs is not there.
- Lower maintenance costs when compared with other fuel-powered vehicles.
- CNG emits significantly less pollutants such as carbon dioxide, hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides,sulfur oxides and particulate matter as compared to petrol.
- It is sold at lower price than gasoline and diesel hence operating cost is very low.
- CNG engines work more efficient than standard gasoline engines.
Hydrogen as a fuel:
We hardly believed earlier thoughts of scientists when they say the time will come when cars will run on water. So that time is coming as technology is developing to run the cars on Hydrogen. Hydrogen and oxygen combines together to make water. When an electric current is passed in water it dissociated into hydrogen and water. It itself is not an energy source, but an energy carrier.
Hydrogen can be produced from various sources:
a)It can be produced by electrolysis by both wind and solar power.
b)It can be produced by electrolysis by nuclear power.
c)It can be produced by gasification of coal and biomass.
Hydrogen is very dangerous and can be ignited even by a static spark; therefore it has to be stored in a very safe manner. There are various technologies with which it can be stored:
a)In high pressure gas cylinders.
b)In form of metal hydrides.
c)In form of fuel cells.
a)If hydrogen project become successful then all the problems of pollution will be solved.
b)There will be no emission only water is the by product.
c)All non renewable sources will be saved.
HCNG is blend of CNG and hydrogen. To reduce the emissions from the CNG vehicles hydrogen is mixed with the CNG fuel. Indian government has declared 20% hydrogen blend with CNG is at par with CNG. There are very few modifications are required if 20% is being blended in CNG but it has ability to meet the future emission standards.
There are many types of electric variants are possible for transportation. There are now many technologies available for electric vehicles:-
1) Electric hybrids
Electric hybrids are combinations of internal combustion engines with electric system which is used for propulsion. Here internal combustion engine and the electric motor are both connected to the transmission system and can simultaneously transmit power to drive the wheels when required.
2) Regenerative braking systems.
In regenerative type braking systems the energy required to stop the vehicle through brakes is not lost but it converts the vehicle's kinetic energy into charging the battery electric energy. So it is not like conventional braking system where all the energy is lost to environment.
3) Fully electric vehicles.
Fully electric vehicles are vehicles run on pure battery and no engine is required. In these vehicles battery has to be recharged after few distance of run. The important component is battery which needs lot of research to make it more reliable, compact and to be used for long runs.
Advantages of alternate fuels
1) Energy security
The first and foremost advantage of alternate fuels is the energy security. As fossil fuels are nonrenewable sources of energy therefore alternate fuels gives us the independence from the conventional source of energy.
Second important advantage of alternate fuels is emission reduction. As alternate fuels are very clean therefore there are no harmful pollutant emitted from the exhaust of the vehicles.
3)Cost benefits to customer
Petrol is becoming costlier and costlier day by day. Therefore the alternate fuel vehicles gives us that margin to overcome the burden of heavily priced petrol.
As India is dependent upon the gulf countries to meet the needs for energy in terms of fuel. That dependence can be reduced and can be eliminated in future if India goes to the path of alternate fuels.
The biggest disadvantage is the availability of the alternative fuels. For example in case of ethanol government has notified use of 10% ethanol across the country but even 5% is not available.
India is far behind in the technology than the western world. There is very little knowledge and technology available in India for the progress. For example safety is required for the storage of HCNG and hydrogen fuel on board. But we do not have such technologies and cylinders available.
Alternate fuels are now necessity for the future mobility solutions. Conventional resources are nonrenewable and therefore some options are required to sustain the energy security. Environment has also affected badly with the fuels like diesel and petrol, so to curb the emissions alternate fuels are very helpful. Indian government should take faster actions to make these options mandatory.
Read related articles: Alternative Petroleum
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|Author: Mohit Gupta 14 Apr 2011||Member Level: Gold Points : 1|
I have tried to fulfill your requirement and changed the sentences where i think are reproduced. If still there is any discrepancy please let me know.
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