Published September/October 2013

5 Fuel Fighters

Cars are no longer relying on gas or battery power to keep moving

For most motorists, finding coffee grounds or vegetable oil in their gas tank would be cause for concern — but not if they have one of the following five alternative-fuel gas tanks:  
1. The United Kingdom may be the best place for a spot of tea, but there’s another caffeine kick that’s setting world records: Martin Bacon’s coffee cars. The cars are fueled by a process called gasification, which involves heating pellets made from coffee grounds, which then release gasses into the internal combustion engine.
2. Propane (or liquefied petroleum gas) can be found at more than 2,600 fueling stations throughout the U.S., according to the Department of Energy. This nontoxic form of fuel burns cleaner and costs less than gasoline in cars set up for its use.
3. The Hybrid Air,  PSA Peugeot Citroën’s latest concept car, uses a three-cylinder gas-powered engine for highway driving. But in town, a pressurized air-powered motor takes over — the air takes the place of electricity in the hybrid equation.
4. Both Frybrids and Greasecars are vehicles that operate (at least in part) on new or used vegetable oil. In most cases these are diesel engines converted to run on biodiesel fuel. 
5. Hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles, such as Hyundai’s Tucson ix35, are powered by electricity generated by combining hydrogen gas and oxygen (not to be confused with hydrogen peroxide, which was used to propel rockets as early as World War II).
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