Pros and Cons of Eight Green Fuels

US News dossiers fuels are overrated - and which could power your next car.

Published: 12-Jan-2008

After years of talk, rising oil prices—combined with global-warming concerns and a disdain for foreign oil—have finally set the stage for breakthroughs in alternative fuels. To see how the hottest new technologies stack up, click on each fuel for a rundown of its attributes and flaws, or click on the topics on the left to see how various fuels compare:

Corn Ethanol
A fuel derived from the sugars in corn and other plants. Pure ethanol is usually blended with gasoline. "E10"—10 percent ethanol—is common today. E85—85 percent ethanol—is the highest practical blend; some gas is still required for combustion in most climates.

Cellulosic Ethanol
A biofuel refined from cellulose, the fibrous material that makes up most of the plant matter in wheat, switch grass, corn stalks, rice straw, and even wood chips.

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