The recent increase in gasoline and heating oil prices has led many to research alternative energy sources for oil. There is also a great concern over greenhouse gases emitted from using fossil fuels as well as increasing alarm over the dwindling supply of those fossil fuels as well as a strong desire not to be dependent on hostile foreign nations for fuel supplies. There is a strong push for alternative energy sources of oil to be developed and put into use on a nation wide scale. Alternative energy is defined as energy that is obtained from the sun, wind, and waves or other natural sources. It is a non-polluting source of energy, is renewable and has a low impact on the environment.
Biotechnology has been instrumental in developing and implementing a viable option to meet the need for alternative energy sources for oil. Biomass is an organic material made from plants and animals that comes from agricultural and forestry residue, municipal and industrial wastes, and terrestrial and aquatic crops grown specifically for energy. Biomass can be converted to energy and can be used as an alternative to petroleum. It is renewable and uses environmentally friendly technology. Bio-fuel is any fuel produced by turning the raw materials of the starch and cellulite into a useable form. They are then turned into transportation fuels such as methanol, biodiesel, ethanol, bio-crude, and methane by using a biochemical and a thermo chemical process.
Ethanol, also called ethyl or grain alcohol, is the most widely used bio-fuel and is used as an alternative energy source for oil products, specifically gasoline. It can also be used to boost, or enhance the octave level in a vehicle. Ethanol is an alcohol based fuel made from sugars and starches found in corn, grain sorghum and wheat by using a fermentation and distillation process. It provides one of the most usable alternative energy sources for oil. There have also been many innovations for vehicles that use alternative energy sources for oil including sustainable vehicles using flexible fuels as well as hybrid vehicles and FC vehicles.
Bio-diesel is another alternative energy source for oil. Bio-diesel is a clean burning alternative fuel derived from new and used vegetable oils and animal fats. It is simple to use, nontoxic, biodegradable and sulfur free with no noxious odors. Alternative energy sources for oil are the wave of the future. There have been many advances in recent years and with new advances in technology it may not be long until all vehicles are running predominantly with alternative energy sources for oil.