Alternative Fuels

Alternative Fuels

As gas prices soar, consumers become more interested alternative fuel cars. Lower costs, however, are not the only benefits to alternative fuels. They also produce fewer emissions (better for the environment) and can usually be produced in the United States (increasing our self-reliance).

Alternative Fuels Resource Handout for Classroom or Homeschool: Just $2.00

CNN: Fueling America5 stars

This special report from CNN aggregates all their articles about energy (with a special emphasis on fueling cars) into a single portal. Alternative fuels are addressed in the Solutions and Alternatives section. Visit to learn about T. Boone Picken's wind power campaign, to read their alternative fuel summary, or to get more information about the 106 MPG air car that uses compressed air as a power source. The air car is the product of Zero Pollution Motors, who has a six-seater planned for U.S. release in 2010. Wow!

HowStuffWorks: Alternative Fuel5 stars

In this roundup, HowStuffWorks works their magic on alternative fuels. Topics covered include natural-gas vehicles, hybrid cars, electric cars, fuel cells and biodiesel fuels. There is also an interesting page on How Gas Prices Work, which explains how much of each gas dollar goes to crude-oil suppliers, refineries, distributors and taxes. I am fascinated by NGVs (Natural Gas Vehicles) such as the Honda Civic GX, and enjoyed the explanation of How Natural-Gas Vehicles Work. "Like gasoline, natural gas is combustible, which means it can be used in a combustion engine like gasoline."

PBS: Online NewsHour: Alternative Fuels5 stars

This collection of alternative fuel articles, interactives, video, classroom activities and lesson plans certainly lives up to the high standards we've come to expect from PBS. Highlights are the ethanol analysis (which lays out arguments both for and against the increased use of corn-based ethanol fuel), a multimedia explanation of how a fuel cell works, and Car of the Future (moderated by Car Talk's funny guys: Tom and Ray).

Student's Guide to Alternative Fuel Vehicles3 stars

"So, what is an alternative fuel? Alternative fuels are vehicle fuels that aren't made from petroleum. There are many kinds of fuels that vehicles can run on that aren't made from petroleum." Written for middle-school readers, this guide to alternative fuel vehicles is published by the California Energy Commission. Although it is has not been updated in a few years, the introductory articles on fuel cell vehicles, methanol and ethanol fuel, liquefied natural gas (LNG), and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) are still valuable. Unfortunately, most of the outbound links are broken.

U.S. DOE: Alternative Fuels and Advanced Vehicles Data Center5 stars

This Department of Energy site is my pick of the week because of its short, straightforward summaries of all the alternative fuels currently being used, and technologies still under development. "There are more than a dozen alternative and advanced fuels in production or use today. Although government-regulated and voluntary private fleets are the primary users of these fuels, consumers are showing a growing interest in them. Use of these fuels is critical to reducing dependence on foreign oil and improving air quality."

Alternative Fuels Resource Handout for Classroom or Homeschool: Just $2.00

Honorable Mentions

The following links are either new discoveries or sites that didn't make it into my newspaper column because of space constraints. Enjoy!

Collecting the History of Fuel Cells

Drive Clean

Fuel Economy

ScienceDaily: Alternative Fuel News

Cite This Page

Feldman, Barbara. "Alternative Fuels." Surfnetkids. Feldman Publishing. 26 Aug. 2008. Web. 30 Aug. 2015. < >.

About This Page

By . Originally published August 26, 2008. Last modified August 26, 2008.

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