Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Christian Buck - Gas and Hybrids

Christian Buck

As you know, gas prices are rising at incredible rates. It is becoming more of a hassle to pay for
our cars. In our rush for a way to avoid paying too much at the pump, it is necessary to stop using so much gas. This means we have to use fuel-efficient cars, or hybrids. There is a possibility to use other fuel sources in the future, but so far there has not been a fuel that is an efficient enough alternative to gas.
Hydrogen is a fuel that has been considered, and received a lot of attention. However we are finding that it is less efficient than fossil fuels. Hydrogen must be turned into a compound before being used as a fuel; this procedure requires the use of fossil fuels. In the long run we are burning the same gas that we were to start out with, by turning it into hydrogen, which we burn as well. This is not substantially cheaper or more efficient, so we might as well use the same cars as we are now. There is the possibility of using green hydrogen, which doesn’t require the use of fossil fuels. Unfortunately green hydrogen is very expensive, the cost owould be between 6-8 dollars a gallon, and even after the price dropped from widespread use it would cost about 4-5 dollars a gallon.
Some other options are diesel, bio-diesel, and corn. The problem with diesel is the price is still high, and corn and bio-diesel would have to be grown. Growing bio-diesel to support our automobiles would need so many crops to be converted into oil that our nation would not have enough food to support itself.
The best option appears to be plug in hybrids. Many people that go to work, shopping and complete their other needs within the 30 miles of their residence could travel by electric power. This uses a tiny amount of fuel compared to conventional cars, which would lower the demand and price of fuels making travel cheaper.
We do not have plug in hybrids yet; we are close to producing a car that utilizes this technology. We might even discover other more efficient fuels that will allow us avoid using fossil fuels.


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