The future of motoring and mobility is playing out before our eyes. For several years now, we have been inundated with information on alternative energy sources – more or less efficient and future-proof. Today we are taking a closer look at the innovative powertrains of the future that are set to conquer the automotive world
Electric cars and hydrogen
The future certainly belongs to electric cars, but it is impossible to say with certainty whether electric cars will be displaced by other technology. Despite appearances, the production of electric cars and their batteries is not as clean from a climate perspective as one might expect. Another unsolved problem is the disposal of used lithium-ion batteries, which are extremely hazardous to the environment. However, there is no denying that the biggest advantage of this type of solution is the percentage of energy loss in electricity production, which is only 5%
A serious competitor to electrics has appeared on the market – hydrogen. Cars powered by fuel cells have a smaller impact on the environment than electric cars, but the problem is the expensive production of the cells and the high percentage of energy loss amounting to almost 40%. Taking this into account, we conclude that the automotive industry needs greener solutions than the current ones. Potential candidates? Here you go
This is an innovative, yet previously known idea to reduce carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere. It is nothing more than a biofuel derived from the chemical processing of plant or animal fats. However, most biodiesels feature a diesel blend due to the fact that existing factory internal combustion engines would not be able to handle 100 percent biodiesel. Interestingly, you will find a handful of vehicles around the world using this type of fuel. Chrysler, Volkswagen and Mercedes have all released biodiesel compatible vehicles. The biggest advantage is the ability to use existing infrastructure and means of transporting the fuel, which significantly reduces production costs.
Fuel from algae
Another “green” alternative is fuel that uses algae as an energy source. Importantly, like traditional fuels, algae fuels emitCO2 during the combustion process, but this is only the carbon dioxide absorbed from the atmosphere through photosynthesis. This means that the balance of emissions is close to 0. Another argument for algae fuel is that it can be grown on land that is not suitable for cultivation and, most importantly, it is a renewable source of energy that could solve many of the problems of the modern world. Nevertheless, this is quite a distant vision.
The latest contender for fuel of the future is liquid natural gas. The crowning argument behind this type of energy source is that it combines the features of a “clean” fuel and a high octane number as high as 130. During the production process, liquefaction takes place, which reduces the volume 630 times, resulting in a significant increase in energy density and purification of environmentally harmful substances.
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