The majority of us understand that finding alternative sources of fuel is imperative to the survival of our societies and the future of our planet. It’s no secret that fossil fuel reserves are dwindling and that our current consumption is having a negative impact on the environment, but work is being done to develop more sustainable fuels for our homes, cars and more.
It’s in the automotive industry where prototype fuels are currently being tested and developed, with the hope that one day they will be the answer to our problems.
So what exactly are these fuels and how might they evolve in the future? What follows are a few examples of fuels currently in development:
Biofuels are already in production in many sites across the world. Much like the name suggests they’re synthesised from natural organic materials including plants, vegetable oils and sugar. While carbon is still released in some cases when these are burned, the reason they’re sustainable is that they’re made from materials which have already taken carbon out of the atmosphere. It’s essentially like re-using the same carbon over again.
According to this article on ridgeway.co.uk, the vehicle manufacturer Audi is beginning to produce synthetic fuels that are C02-neutral. If this is a success this could be something we see more brands getting involved with over the next 10 years and being used in our transportation.
Not strictly a ‘fuel’ but a viable power source nonetheless. Batteries in general have certainly come a long way in the last few decades. Big improvements have been made to make them more efficient, hold their charge better and indeed last longer. We already have a number of battery-powered electric cars too, ranging from the frugal (Nissan Leaf) to the sporty (Tesla Model S). On top of this they produce zero emissions and zero noise.
Critics of electrically powered cars do highlight that their range and charge time undermine their eco-efficiency, but as was seen in recent aviation news, solar power charging of these batteries could be something that solves these problems.
Ultimately, the truth is we can’t predict the future, it’s more a matter of waiting and seeing what happens. To return to a key point though, things will have to change if we’re to continue consuming energy the way we are. For the moment simply keeping up-to-date with new developments in the alternative fuel world is a smart move and could put you ahead of the curve when new vehicles and energy options become available.