10 everyday fuels found in your garbage can
Approximately two-thirds of that price is due to the cost of crude oil. If fuel came from a less precious resource, such as sewage or sawdust, motorists would almost certainly see lower prices at the pump.
We're not there yet, but the capability already exists to turn several everyday resources into a component of fuel. Many of these resources may in fact be sitting in your garbage can, in an office recycling bin or in a city landfill at this moment.
Read ahead and see what substances that we take for granted today can be turned into the automotive fuel of tomorrow.
(Photo: Image source: AydAn Mutlu | E+ | Getty Images)
According to Discovery News, corn is the largest source of biofuel in the U.S. today. Unfortunately, it's expensive to process, so it would carry high costs at the pump.
Corn is used in the creation of ethanol, an alcohol fuel. It derives from the sugars found in the grain, and all sugar crops can be fermented to produce it, according to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.
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Gasoline that derives from wood waste may sound like a fantasy, but in 2009 a University of Massachusetts at Amherst professor named George Huber made it happen. According to The Boston Globe, Huber had his students load sawdust into one end of a complex contraption that he had invented, and moments later, a brown liquid that he called "grassoline" dripped out of the other side. That means that someday, the dumpster behind Home Depot could yield a treasure trove of energy independence.
Creating fuel from wood isn't just for the universities. Beaver Energy is a company that researches and develops alternative fuels, and has made a wood-powered car, a 1988 Isuzu Trooper with an engine that runs on wood chips. According to the company's website, it can go "20 miles on 25 pounds of wood chips," and it can be seen in this YouTube video.
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French fries may be bad for you, but you can always justify eating them by saying that you're doing it for the environment. The cooking oil in which they're fried is a component of biodiesel, which the U.S. Energy Information Administration says "produces lower levels of most air pollutants than petroleum-based products."