Fossil fuels and alternative fuels for the future? e.g. Possible Petrol Replacements

Fuel

Consideration Factor

Hydrogen

H2

Methane

(Natural Gas)

CH4

Liquefied Petroleum Gas

L.P.G. mostly Propane C3H8, Butane C4H10

Methanol

CH3OH

An oxygenate fuel

Ethanol

CH3CH2OH

An oxygenate fuel

Coal

Mainly Carbon but contains some Sulphur

 

Suitability for road transport

Large volume. Not as convenient as petrol

Large volume. Not as convenient as petrol

Not as convenient as petrol but more dense than hydrogen or methane

Hygroscopic, absorbs water, causes corrosion

Hygroscopic, absorbs water, causes corrosion

NO, too inconvenient, polluting and back to the steam engine!

Safety in use

No more flammable or explosive than other gas fuels but more dangerous than liquids

No more flammable or explosive than other gas fuels but more dangerous than liquids

No more flammable than other gas fuels but more dangerous than liquids

Volatile, flammable, toxic liquid

Volatile, flammable, toxic liquid

Very safe, not flammable but a bit ‘mucky’!

Availability and cost of supply

Not readily available,   made from  water by electrolysis  –  needs energy source - Sun!

Large naturally occurring reserves

Large naturally occurring reserves

More costly, has to be synthesised from CO + H2

More costly, has to be synthesised from ethene + water

Big reserves, easily transported

Energy Density

J/ kg

Very high

143000kJ/kg

High

55600 kJ/kg

High

50000 kJ/kg

Lower

22700 kJ/kg

Lower

29717 kJ/kg

Moderate 32800 kJ/kg max if pure C

Can existing car engines be adapted

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Not applicable!

Ease of storage and distribution-can existing network be modified

As for natural gas, so OK

Piped delivery, OK

Stored under pressure, much more dense than natural gas

Readily stored and transported

Readily stored and transported

Readily stored and transported

Effect on Environment

CO toxic

SO2, NO2 irritant, toxic, acid rain

Unburned CxHy carcinogens

Product on combustion water, cleanest possible fuel, no pollutants emitted

Produces carbon dioxide, a contributor to the ‘Greenhouse Effect’, less CO, NO2

Produces carbon dioxide, a contributor to the ‘Greenhouse Effect’

Cleaner than alkane fuels, produces less CO, unburned CxHy, NO2

Cleaner than alkane fuels, produces less CO, unburned CxHy, NO2

Very polluting, lung irritant, SO2 causes acid rain, carcinogens, Greenhouse Effect gases etc. etc.

A level Revision notes for GCE Advanced Subsidiary Level AS Advanced Level A2 IB Revise AQA GCE Chemistry OCR GCE Chemistry Edexcel GCE Chemistry Salters Chemistry CIE Chemistry, WJEC GCE AS A2 Chemistry, CCEA/CEA GCE AS A2 Chemistry revising courses for pre-university students (equal to US grade 11 and grade 12 and AP Honours/honors level courses)

 

 

 

 

 

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