New Fuels – 1

Global Challenges/Chemistry Solutions

New Fuels Part 1

 Did You Know?

  • Biofuels are not new. Henry Ford designed the “Tin Lizzie” to run on alcohol, while Rudolf Diesel’s engine could run on peanut oil.
  • New fuels must be liquid fuels to power the 230 million motor vehicles on today’s roads.
  • There are many different types of biofuels, including ethanol, biodiesel, green gasoline, and designer hydrocarbons.
  • In 2007, the United States consumed 6.5 billion gallons of ethanol were mixed into the domestic supply of 142 billion gallons of gasoline.

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A magazine for high school students

  • Do You Want Biodiesel with That? (April 2005)
    It’s the environmentally friendly alternative fuel made from almost any vegetable oil—even from old oil used to cook French fries.
  • Bacteria Power (April 2004)
    Stinky mud + water + graphite rod + wire = power?!!! That’s right. What’s missing is the amazing, naturally occurring bacteria that make it all possible.

Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS®)

SciFinder®, a research tool produced by CAS (a division of the American Chemical Society), found 384 references published this year on the topic of using biomass for producing biofuels. Further analysis of the references demonstrates the current research interest in developing pathways to sustainable biofuels from non food sources such as forest and crop residues, municipal waste, algae, etc. and the increasing focus on biotechnology solutions for optimizing processes such as conversion of biomass to sugars.

The CAS databases cover references from more than 10,000 major scientific journals and 57 patent authorities worldwide.

ACS Policy Statements and Briefings

In the News


  • Hundreds of books have been written in the past few years about biofuels. These books offer an amazing variety of opinions and viewpoints. Information on many of these books is available from the Library of Congress,

Sources for this podcast

Other Resources

Meet the Scientists

Amid growing concern about high gasoline prices, global warming, and limited resources of petroleum, scientists and engineers around the world are on a quest for new fuels —alternatives to conventional petroleum, natural gas, and coal. On their radar screens are new sources of familiar old ethanol that do not strain the food supply and futuristic fuels like “green gasoline” and “designer” hydrocarbons.
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