Who invented the modern internal combustion engine

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  • Rapeseed consumes a lot of agricultural land; Rights: Mauritius
  • Natural gas is cheaper than conventional fuels; Rights: AP

All fuels that are made from crude oil have the same disadvantage: when they burn, carbon dioxide is produced, a gas that is harmful to the climate. That is why more environmentally friendly alternatives have been sought for a few years.

Biodiesel: Rudolf Diesel was already experimenting with peanut oil when he was looking for a suitable fuel for his engine. For a few years now you can get the so-called "biodiesel" at every petrol station. This consists largely of vegetable oil. Vegetable oil also burns to carbon dioxide, but since the plants have previously removed this from the atmosphere, no new gas is produced.

Bioethanol: The more environmentally friendly alternative bioethanol is now also available for gasoline engines. This alcohol is made from plant waste. It can be used as fuel either alone or mixed with gasoline, but it is so aggressive that many engines in older models cannot tolerate it.

Natural gas: Another alternative for the gasoline engine is the drive with natural gas. Natural gas produces much less carbon dioxide than gasoline or diesel. In addition, there are significantly fewer other pollutants such as carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides or soot particles. Natural gas is significantly cheaper than other fuels, but you also need your own tank for it.

These biofuels are also hotly debated: Although fewer pollutants are produced when they are burned, carbon dioxide, for example, is released during production. Fields where people used to grow food are now often turned into biofuel plantations. Therefore, food is becoming scarce in some parts of the world. One thing in particular helps to protect the environment: leave the car standing still more often!