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Alternative Fuel Sources - Moving Away From Gas
By: Matthew Hick
With soaring gas prices, and concerns about the effects fossil fuel use is having on the environment, researchers are scrambling to
find alternative fuel options for America's dependence on foreign oil. While others are being studied, there are currently several
promising fuel options already in limited use across the nation:
One of cleanest, cheapest and easiest fuel options to implement, biodiesel, fuel can be made from vegetable and soy bean oils and
animal fats, as well as recycled restaurant grease.
In its pure form (100%), biodiesel is a clean-burning fuel that emits very little air pollutants, and would help reduce dangerously
high levels of hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide and sulfates in the air, by limiting the use of traditional petroleum products.
Switching the average consumer to biodiesel fuel may be one of the easiest and cheapest transfers among all the alternative fuel
sources available. Most cars and trucks built since 1994 are designed to already accept biodiesel fuel with little or no modifications.
No new or special pumps are needed to make it available to the public, and according to a recent study by the United States
Department of Energy, current U.S. stockpiles of soybean and other usable foodstuffs are currently available to produce nearly 2
billion gallons of biodiesel. That's just 5% of America's annual fuel usage.
Once considered the alternative fuel of choice, ethanol has taken a back burner to other options in recent years as critics contend
that it takes more energy to make it than Americans will save using it. Still, research continues to find ways to make this fuel option
easier to make. Ethanol is a clear, colorless fuel that is made by distilling ground corn, and other high-sugar plants (such as s