Different Types of Fuels

As we all know, there are different types of fuel that we are using nowadays. Each fuel has its own uses and importance. Be it in different industries, each fuel specializes differently. Let’s differentiate each type below:

· Ethanol

Also known as ethyl alcohol or grain alcohol, this flammable, colorless liquid is made by the fermentation of sugar in certain plants. In most uses, ethanol gas is used as an additive for gasoline. This is commonly made from sugarcane, switchgrass, corn, or some varieties of cactus. This is widely used in Brazil, United States, and in Europe. In fact in the US, more and more cars use higher ethanol blends each year.

· Methanol

Also known as methyl alcohol or wood alcohol, this flammable, colorless liquid is known to be the simplest alcohol. Therefore, the process for converting raw materials to methanol is simpler than with ethanol, making the potential cost savings to the consumer very attractive. Anything that once was biomass can be converted to methanol for use as a fuel. These raw material “feedstocks” include coal, natural gas and farm waste. Trash in landfills emits methane gas over time, which can be captured and converted to methanol. Unlike ethanol, methanol is toxic and not fit for humans to drink. It’s used in making antifreeze, solvent, and window cleaners. It’s the main component in windshield wiper fluid, which we dump directly to the atmosphere. Methanol is also known to be easy to transport, that’s why it is used in race cars.

· Gasoline

Gasoline is very useful and it undergoes a certain process before it can be sold to the market. After being extracted from the ground, crude is shipped to an oil refinery, where it is heated to temperatures above 350°C in a pressurized chamber and distilled into gasoline. However, before it can be sold, this unfinished gasoline needs to be blended with additives to boost its low octane rating in order to achieve increased efficiency and avoid harming engines with pre-ignition and/or knocking — problems that can cause severe engine damage. Most gasoline currently sold in the United States is blended with aromatics, ethanol, or some combination of the two to boost its octane rating.

· Diesel

Like gasoline, diesel fuel must also undergo a refining process before it’s ready for use. At the refinery, crude is heated to temperatures between 200°C and 350°C and then distilled into diesel fuel. While diesel is generally acknowledged as being more efficient than gasoline and emits fewer greenhouse gases, diesel engines have trouble starting in cold weather and produce more NOx, one of the main components in smog. Companies have developed Biodiesel that is obtained from vegetable oil or animal fats which makes it an alternative fuel similar to “fossil” diesel.

· Natural gas

Natural gas is a fossil fuel used as a source of energy for heating, cooking, and electricity generation. Methane is the main component of natural gas, and it’s often found in the same wells that bring up oil. Methane is a simple molecule that burns cleanly, and currently there’s so much of it underground in the United States that oil drillers find it unprofitable to capture, so it’s burned off into the atmosphere.

This list might not be complete but these five listed above are the most common fuels used in the United States. Call Ridderman Oil today at (269) 685–5825 for your fuel needs in Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo and surrounding areas in Michigan.