Transportation fuels are essential to modern life. Whether you drive a car, ride the bus, or fly in a plane, your transportation depends on fuel. And this fuel has changed significantly over the past few decades.
From gasoline and diesel to ethanol and biodiesel, learn about the most common transportation fuels used today and what’s next for these supply chains.
Petroleum-based fuels are the most commonly used transportation fuel in the world. They are created by distilling crude oil, a fossil fuel formed over hundreds of millions of years by plants and animals that died in the earth’s crust. Petroleum-based fuels are used to create gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel.
The vast majority of petroleum products consumed today come from nonrenewable resources such as oil wells or tar sands—if every barrel of petroleum currently known to exist were consumed at current rates, it would last for more than 125 years at today’s usage rate!
Ethanol is a biofuel made from sugar or starch crops, such as corn.
Ethanol has several benefits over other fuels:
- It’s renewable and can be replenished through photosynthesis or sugar cane production.
- It reduces greenhouse gas emissions when it’s produced using renewable energy sources like wind power, solar power and geothermal heat pumps.
- Ethanol is cheaper than gasoline on a per-gallon basis because it doesn’t require as much processing before being sold at retail outlets like convenience stores or supermarkets
Fuels from Natural Gas
Natural gas is a fossil fuel that can be used as a transportation fuel. It’s generally produced from the decomposition of organic matter in landfills or from the decomposition of plants and animals.
It is composed of long chains of carbon molecules with hydrogen attached. When you light natural gas, it gives off dangerous fumes like carbon monoxide, which can cause serious health problems when breathed in large quantities for an extended period (like at work).
Biodiesel is a renewable fuel that can be used in any diesel engine. It’s made from vegetable oil or animal fat, which is more common in the United States. Biodiesel can be used in standard diesel engines without modification.
The combustion of biodiesel produces fewer particulate emissions and has a lower carbon monoxide emission than petroleum diesel, making it cleaner burning than petroleum diesel.
Hydrogen fuel is the most abundant element in the universe and can be produced from water, which makes it a clean source of energy. It can be used to power vehicles, homes and businesses.
However, generating hydrogen from water takes more energy than burning fossil fuels such as oil or natural gas. Hydrogen also tends to react quickly with oxygen if exposed to air so it must be stored at high pressures or in special containers.
In conclusion, we can say that it is important to know the options you have when it comes to transportation fuels.
- Hydrogen fuel is the future and ethanol may be a good alternative to fossil fuels.
- Biodiesel is also a good alternative, but it’s not yet widely used enough for us to say if it will be successful or not.
- Natural gas has been around for years and continues to grow in popularity as an alternative fuel in vehicles worldwide.