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Energy Sources For You Home And Automobile In The Year 2050

5 Pages 1135 Words

How many times a day do you use a source of energy? Practically every minute of everyday we use some such source. Weather it is heating your home or driving your car, you have used some sort of chemical reaction to accomplish it. During the last century, most energy sources have been what we call fossil fuels, or non-renewable sources of fuel. These semi-common molecules contain mostly long chains of the atom carbon. Fuels such as coal, petroleum, propane, and natural gas are included in this group. The problem with these fuels is that when combusted, produce carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide, or commonly known as greenhouse gasses. Many new and cleaner systems are being developed for use in upcoming years, hopefully to replace the commonly used fuels that we rely on today.

Hydrogen, the most abundant material in the universe, is a great source of energy though it is seldom found in a pure form on earth. The only by-product of its oxidation is water vapor (4H +O2 = 2 H2O). Small amounts of nitrogen oxides and unburned hydrocarbons are also released when run in an engine due to engine lubricants, but no carbon dioxide is produced.

Hydrogen is mostly created by breaking down hydrocarbon fuels either by electrolysis of water or photolysis. Electrolysis is the process of splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen by using electricity. Photolysis is described simply as chemical decomposition. The problem we are having with hydrogen fuel systems is the storage required. Compared to a gasoline powered automobiles, liquid hydrogen would require eight times the amount of storage plus would require a refrigeration system. Compressed hydrogen would require almost six to ten times more storage.

Another source being explored that has a high potential is ethanol or grain alcohol. It is clear, colorless, and an odor that fits it. It is said to have a sweet flavor, but can burn in a concentrate form. Ethanol, or CH3CH2OH, is...

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