Alternative Car Fuels

Cars constantly use up too much gas, and America has resorted to relying on other countries to get our fuel. Relying on other countries increase the money we use for taxes the cover the costs for this fuel from other parts of the worlds, and increases fuel prices. Soon enough, we will run out of gas entirely, and we will need to start using other forms of fuel for our cars. Alternative soources can prolong runnning out of gas so we can use it for other, more important needs, along with save everyone a substantial amount of money. The problem is that most of America is too stubborn to switch over to alternative fuels, and most car companies want to make more money by making less fuel efficient cars. Until the demand for more enviromentally friendly cars goes up, it is less likely that more of these ideal cars will show up.


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Location
The U.S. is the top consumer of gasoline in the world, followed by China, Russia, Japan, and then Germany. The U.S. alone consumes over 20 million barrels of oil daily. We Americans also travel around 4 million miles annually on highways and city streets. This number has only been topped by air travel. Even countries a lot lower on the list of top gas consumers, such as Iran, Spain, and Indonesia, still consume over a million barrels of gas a year.
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Impact
When we constantly use gasoline, not only does it use up our natural resources, but it also burns a hole in our ozone layer. Gasoline contributes 34% of all green-house gasses affecting our atmosphere. By using gasoline more times than necessary, we're putting our own safety at risk. Green-house gasses cause global warming, which melt the polar ice caps and cause problems worldwide. Aside from the enviromental effects of overusing gasoline, it has a heavy economic effect as well. People constantly grieve about high gas prices, and the effect it has on them. Four dollars a gallon, mixed in with hundreds of dfferent kinds of fuel wasting cars is a major contributor to people spending thousands more dollars a year than they want to. The race for fuel is a global issue, and soon enough, all of it will run out.

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Solutions
Currently, there are several benificial alternatives to using gas, although they each have drawbacks of their own, soon we will be forced to rely on them. Batteries do not pollute, but presently work at limited range. Biofuel (Corn Ethanol) can be used in gas pumps but also disprupts crop and worl food supplies. Biofuel (Non-Corn Ethanol) has a large supply and works in diesel engines, although it has a possibilty of emitting high amounts of Carbon Dioxide. Electricity is non-polluting but it is very dependant on plug-in resources around you. Hydrogen fuel cells are non-hazardous to the enviroment and have no carbon dioxide emissions because they are produced from water. Natural gas is cheap and has high energy but it is a non-renewable resource. Solar power is non-polluting, but with out current technology it is expensive and not quite ready to be adapted for transportation uses. Synthetic fuel has a large supply, but it would have negative enviromental effect.
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Future
Hybrids will almost certainly lead in sales for alternative fuel cars in the near future. Hybrids allow the same combustible engine to be used with only minor revisions to make it more fuel efficient. Hybrids are capapble of driving around 45 miles a gallon. That mileage cannot be topped by conventional cars. Hybrids, such as the Prius, are growing rapidly in the market for their fuel efficient engines. The success of new alternative fuels depends entirely on new fossil fuel technology that is developed, along with gas prices in the near future. As of now, the predicted top-selling alternative fuel is biofuels, made from biomass and different types of crops. The only obstacle with Biofuel succeeded in todays market is how it would affect todays world food market.
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Sources:
Anderson, Mark. "Souped-up battery prepares to slay the gas guzzlers." New Scientist 197.2645 (2008): 28. Science Reference Center. EBSCO. Web. 26 May 2011.

Bourne Jr., Joel. "Green Dreams." National Geographic. October 2007: 41-59. Print.

Maczulak, Anne. "gasoline alternative vehicles." Science Online. Facts On File, Inc. Web. 26 May 2011. http://www.fofweb.com/activelink2.asp?
ItemID=WE40&SID=5&iPin=GTRE0004&SingleRecord=True.

Bullis, Kevin. "Electric Cars 2.0." Technology Review Sept. 2007: 100. Science Reference Center. EBSCO. Web. 26 May 2011.

web.ebscohost.com

Images:
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