Bio- and alternative fuels for mobility State of the art

Rüdiger Krause


From the dawn of history various sources of energy served mankind to increase their power: Draught animals since 7000 years for transport, tillage and water lifting, wind mills and hydro power plants for milling - or later for electricity-generation - steam engines in the 18th century as stationary and mobile source of power, followed by electric engine and the internal combustion engine in the late nineteenth century with increasing range of power and efficiency. And we did not yet reach the end!
In the industrialized countries more than 95% of energy consumption now are based on fossile/mineral sources. Only in the so-called developing countries biomass still contributes 33% to energy (mainly food processing). Internal combustion engines, due to different advantages and disadvantages and specific applications, are run by specialized fuels like diesel oil, gas oil (gasoline) or gas, near all of fossile origin. Engine design and fuel are adapted to each other, so that diesel engines normally have to be run by diesel fuel. Multy-fuel or hybrid engines are used only for very limited applications but might come up again, based on the ever improving electronic engine management.

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