Alternative Fuels

Alternative fuels include biodiesel and hydrogen. Alternative fuels are important because they could eventually provide us with a cheaper, cleaner, and more abundant source of fuel. Check out these great alternative fuel articles from HowStuffWorks.


Hydrogen proponents tout the energy efficiency and relative ease of producing this alternative fuel. Its opponents want us to remember the Hindenburg.

Pouring diesel fuel into an unleaded tank isn't the end of the world: your car won't blow up. However, it won't start either. You'll have to do some serious cleaning to get your car running again.

Can we use grass to power our cars? Proponents of cellulosic ethanol made from switchgrass think we can. Others fear we'll stop growing food to grow fuel.

There may be "water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink," but what if you could substitute seawater for gasoline? It's a little like alchemy, but could it work?

When oil is expensive, contentious and scarce, fuel made from corn or cane starts to look pretty smart -- economically and environmentally. But not everyone sees it that way.

The government is currently taking steps to make diesel vehicles much cleaner. New laws mandate the use of a cleaner-burning type of diesel fuel named ultra-low sulphur diesel or ULSD. Learn about this fuel.

Corn distilled into ethanol and mixed with gasoline is used to create E85. Each gallon of E85 consists of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline. Learn the pros and cons of this new fuel.

As gasoline prices soar and concern over harmful emission mounts, cars that run on alternate fuel sources are becoming increasingly popular. Natural-gas vehicles (or NGVs) are fuel-efficient, environmentally friendly and offer a relatively low cost of ownership.

You probably know it as the stuff that fuels a gas grill or a Zippo lighter, but that's just the beginning. People are modifying cars to run on the stuff. Learn all about liquefied petroleum gas.

When gas prices rise, people's thoughts naturally jump to alternative fuel sources. Check out these articles to learn all about the growing technology of alternative fuel.

Soybean byproducts are nutritious and healthy. They can also power a car. Find out how soybean and other plant oils as well as animal fats are used to create the environmentally friendly fuel biodiesel.

I've heard that it's possible to build a car engine to run off of ethanol, a byproduct of corn. How much corn would I need to grow in order to produce enough ethanol fuel to drive my car across the country?

When people refer to "nitro-burning funny cars" and "top-fuel dragsters" what are they talking about? What is "top fuel" and how is it different from gasoline?

Why are governments, private businesses, and academic institutions collaborating to research develop and produce fuel cells? Learn how fuel cells work and how efficient they really are.

Gasoline, kerosene, diesel, etc. all come from crude oil, but what makes them different? Read on to learn about their differences.