Air pollution is increasingly becoming a grave concern for the world which is now prone towards environmental protection. Just as another other means of pollution is a threat to the protection of natural resources and the survival of the human beings, the similar threat is presented by air pollution. With more and more people becoming dependant on vehicles for transportation, air pollution is on the rise, which has forced many fuel companies to look for alternative fuels to allow less pollution infused in the air. These alternative fuels are part of the green revolution that has undertaken the world and forcing the corporate giants to shape their business according to the sustainability of the environment. But as much as the fuels are responsible for the air pollution, the cars and the vehicles themselves are also responsible. Where some cars allow for greater fuel consumption and more infusion of carbon in the car, there are some that don’t. The paper looks at first the different types of alternative fuels that people can use to reduce carbon emissions in the air and then presents three types of vehicles and the best option among them for usage for environmental protection based on the extent to which they harm or protect the environment.
Type of Alternative Fuels and their Pros and Cons
The alternative forms of fuels available for vehicles are Electric, Hybrid, Natural gas, Hydrogen, Fuel Cell, Clean Diesel (low sulfur), Biodiesel (B100) and Ethanol (E85).
- Electric. Electric means of running car only means just start the car and go with no worry of carbon emissions as it does not use carbon at all. This is the biggest advantage it has over the regular fuel. But then again, the electric batteries take up a lot of time to charge and consumer electricity at that (Socyberty, 2009).
- Hybrid. Hybrid cars use a combination of solar power combined with water and electric. It is affordable and infused no carbon emission. But it is costly to repair the battery if once it gets damaged or stops working (Socyberty, 2009).
- Natural Gas. Natural produces carbon emission but quite less than the regular fuel. It is highly cheap and affordable. But it is a nonrenewable natural resource and relying too much on it would only mean making the world run out of a natural resource (Socyberty, 2009).
- Hydrogen. Hydrogen produces no carbon emissions and protects the environment and is also highly affordable. But there are cons to its usage. Firstly, it is not yet available in the market and has not yet been produced for use. And second, using hydrogen would spell a massive unemployment for gas station workers (Socyberty, 2009).
- Clean Diesel. Clean diesel uses a low quantity of sulphur and minimizes the carbon emissions. It ensures a safe environment but is highly expensive (Socyberty, 2009).
- Biodiesel (B100). Biodiesel is made up of fats from animals and through the recycling of cooking oils. Although it ensures clean air, it is highly expensive and cannot function in cold places (Socyberty, 2009).
- Ethanol (E85). Ethanol (E85) which is a combination of 85% of ethanol and 15% of gasoline, ensures minimum carbon emission, but it gives low gas mileage to the cars and only a few cars can use it (Socyberty, 2009).
- Electric Cars. Electric cars can be easily recharged and use a renewable source of energy so there is no risk of running out on a natural resource. But they do use some amount of carbon and it can not be said that they are completely free from carbon mission. Plus, they are expensive too (NSW, 2010).
- Hybrid Cars. Hybrid car’s engines are recharged through petrol but they emit a less quantity of carbon in the air. They are very common but they cost a lot (NSW, 2010).
- Hydrogen Cars. The third option is hydrogen cars. These cars run on water and hydrogen which only means no carbon emission. But as much as the idea is highly favorable, it is not common and still in process. Plus, the cars use up a natural resource, and since the water is scarce in the world these types of cars have thus a downside (NSW, 2010).
Types of Vehicles and Their Pros and Cons
Now we come to discuss the role that vehicles play in reducing air pollution. We have three vehicles in focus: electric cars, Hybrid cars and hydrogen cars.
So, finally what type of fuel and what type of car is most useful based on their pros and cons? It can be said that considering the environmental impact and usage of natural resources, Electric energy and Electric Cars are the most useful and suitable which harm minimum the natural environment at the cost of using electricity which is not to run out anytime soon.