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Typical Brazilian filling station with four alternative fuels for sale: biodiesel (B3), gasohol (E25), neat ethanol (E100), and compressed natural gas (CNG). Piracicaba, São Paulo, Brazil.

Alternative fuels, also known as non-conventional or advanced fuels, are any materials or substances that can be used as fuels, other than conventional fuels. Conventional fuels include: fossil fuels (petroleum (oil), coal, propane, and natural gas), and nuclear materials such as uranium.

Some well known alternative fuels include biodiesel, bioalcohol (methanol, ethanol, butanol), chemically stored electricity (batteries and fuel cells), hydrogen, non-fossil methane, non-fossil natural gas, vegetable oil and other biomass sources.



The main purpose of fuel is to store energy , which should be in a stable form and can be easily transported to the place of production . Almost all fuels are chemical fuels.We as a user use this fuel to perform mechanical work, such as powering an engine.

Importance of alternative fuels

The major environmental concern, according to an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [IPCC] report, is that "Most of the observed increase in globally averaged temperatures since the mid-20th century is in the ground under earth.


Biofuels are also considered as renewable source . Although renewable energy is used mostly to generate electricity, it is often assumed that some form of renewable energy or at least it is used to create alternative fuels.



Biomass in the energy production industry is living and recently dead biological material which can be used as fuel or for industrial production.

Alcohol fuels

Methanol and Ethanol fuel are typically primary sources of energy; however, they are not convenient fuels for storing and transporting energy. These alcohols can not be used in "internal combustion engine as alternative fuels"


Hydrogen as a fuel has been suggested to have the capability to create a hydrogen economy.


HCNG (or H2CNG) is a mixture of compressed natural gas and 4-9 percent hydrogen by energy.[1]

Liquid nitrogen

Liquid nitrogen is another type of emissionless fuel.

Compressed air

The air engine is an emission-free piston engine using compressed air as fuel. Unlike hydrogen, compressed air is about one-tenth as expensive as fossil oil, making it an economically attractive alternative fuel.

Alternative fossil fuels

Compressed natural gas (CNG) is a cleaner burning alternative to conventional petroleum automobile fuels. The energy efficiency is generally equal to that of gasoline engines, but lower compared with modern diesel engines. CNG vehicles require a greater amount of space for fuel storage than conventional gasoline power vehicles because CNG takes up more space for each GGE (Gallon of Gas Equivalent). Almost any existing gasoline car can be turned into a bi-fuel (gasoline/CNG) car. However, natural gas is a finite resource like all fossil fuels, and production is expected to peak gas soon after .

Nuclear power

Nuclear power is any nuclear technology designed to extract usable energy from atomic nuclei via controlled nuclear reactions. The most common method today is through nuclear fission, though other methods include nuclear fusion and radioactive decay. All current methods involve heating a working fluid such as water, which is then converted into mechanical work for the purpose of generating electricity or propulsion. Today, more than 15% of the world's electricity comes from nuclear power, over 150 nuclear-powered naval vessels have been built, and a few radioisotope rockets have been produced.

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