Fuels of the future? Well… to transport something you need a vehicle that runs with some type of fuel, but how will the fuel look in the future? We have some ideas about potential fuel sources.
1. Perpetuum mobile.
Perpetual motion describes hypothetical machines that operate or produce useful work indefinitely and, more generally, hypothetical machines that produce more work or energy than they consume, whether they might operate indefinitely or not. Perpetuum mobile or perpetual motion was not discovered, but still there are even today some science people that are searching this “infinite movement”.
There is an undisputed scientific consensus that perpetual motion in a closed system
In any closed system, you cannot create new energy (first law of thermodynamics)
You always lose a little energy (second law of thermodynamics)
Therefore a machine cannot make more energy than it uses or even enough to keep itself operating.
2. Bio energy.
Our nature receives energy from the sun and transforms this energy into carbon compounds.
There are plants that use the solar energy to transform it into hydrocarbons. Many plants contain different types of hydrocarbons. In Organic chemistry, a hydrocarbon is an Organic compound consisting entirely of Hydrogen and Carbon.
Milion dollars question: How will we use that low quality hidrocarbon to create fuel?
We don’t! This is just the start. We must create plants that transform solar energy into good quality hydrocarbons that can be used as fuel. This can be done only by genetic engineering.
Even if this means to reinvent the wheel by finding out how plants take water + minerals +light(heat) and produce hidrocarbons (what we are interested in) + other compounds…. Finding a way that plants will produce only gasoline or even a beter fuel might worth a try.
Petroleum is a mixture of a very large number of different Hydrocarbon; the most commonly found molecules are Alkane(linear or branched), Cycloalkane, Aromatic hydrocarbon, or more complicated chemicals like Asphaltene. Each petroleum variety has a unique mix of Molecule, which define its physical and chemical properties, like color and Viscosity.
3. Hydrogen as fuel
Hydrogen is a colorless, odorless gas that accounts for 75% of the entire universe’s mass. Hydrogen is found on Earth only in combination with other elements such as oxygen, carbon, and nitrogen. To use hydrogen, it must be separated from these other elements, then it can be used for a variety of things. The most inspiring and exciting use for this element would be for use as a fuel. Scientist have been exploring this possibility for many years and now it is becoming more of a possibility as prototype hydrogen cars and motors come out and are being tested.
Where will we find pure hydrogen that we could use as fuel?
The production of hydrogen in the United States is very cheap and easy. Hydrogen is actually a byproduct in the steam reforming of natural gas. Since we already use natural gases for a variety of uses this would be a very cost efficient way to produce pure hydrogen. Another way is through electrolysis. Electrolysis is the process of running electricity through water to separate the hydrogen from the oxygen. While this method is not as cheap as the first, it is still very efficent.
Changing to hydrogen is a formidable task that many individuals and companies will be afraid to make. Even though this is a huge undertaking to switch totally from gas to hydrogen, there are things that are out now that will make the switch easier. One of them is a conversion kit wich converts your gas car to a hydrogen. There also a few fueling stations scattered across California today. Also BMW has taken major intrest in the possobility and already has a prototype hydrogen powered car. Although the change will be tough some of the benefits will be great. For example it is much more environmentally friendly to burn hydrogen than to burn gasoline. This will cut down on pollution as well as health problems that asthmatic people face from living near polluted areas. Another advantage to switching to hydrogen would be the availability of the resource. Hydrogen makes up 70% of the earths mass, most of it in water, and is very easy collect. Once the water is collected, it is a simple matter of running electricity through it to separate the elements. One last major advantage is the fact that it would be cheaper to refine than gasoline. This means that it would be cheaper for the consumer. With gas prices so high, a new and cheap fuel is in high demand.
Disadvantages of using hydrogen as fuel
One of the main disadvantages of the switch to hydrogen will be the huge cost of switching all the cars and gas stations to receive and distribute hydrogen. This will be a huge undertaking from the small consumer to the larger fuel suppliers such as Shell and Exxon. This is only one concern of the people worried about making the switch to hydrogen. Another is the explosive property of hydrogen. Hydrogen like gasoline can combust very easily but hydrogen even more so. This means that special care will have to be made transporting and pumping such an explosive material. Even thought these are some large disadvantages the switch to hydrogen will be very beneficial in the long run.
Nanotubes are being studied more and more by science people, as new superconducting materials are being found and used in conserving energy.
We have so much electric potential, the sun, the wind, our water. Still, the main problem is that electric energy cannot be well stored. Our technology for batteries is getting day by day more intelligent. Super materials are being tested by scientists. This research is performing with sure, but small steps.
Electric cars have traditionally used series wound DC motors, a form of brushed DC electric motor. More recent electric vehicles have made use of a variety of AC motor types, as these are simpler to build and have no brushes that can wear out. These are usually induction motors or brushless AC electric motors which use permanent magnets. There are several variations of the permanent magnet motor which offer simpler drive schemes and/or lower cost including the brushless DC electric motor.
NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: