Looking for Alternates Sources of Energy in…Potatoes? Apples? Mushrooms?

Fuel is mankind’s driving force – and I mean that literally. It drives cars, it drives factories (this time, I mean it metaphorically), and now rising fuel prices are driving us crazy! Nuclear power might be the most viable but the recent disaster (and, a very tragic one at that) in Japan illustrates it’s not really all that safe.

Scientists have now gone back to their drawing boards to see if bio-fuels aren’t really the solution to this whole mess we’ve put ourselves in. Therefore, shunning all allegories to a high school science project, they’ve been attempting to power batteries with sugar and potatoes. Nerdy and geeky as that might sound, identifying foods that have the intrinsic characteristic to be turned into fuel might just save us from plunging into the Stone Age once again.

So, what popular foods are the contenders to save the planet? Let’s find out!

Chicken

Nope, the idea isn’t to strap a hundred chickens to your car and urge them to run full speed. Chicken meal (the collection of its feathers, entrails and blood) has widely been used in agricultural practices. Now, scientists at the Nevada University have caught on to the fact that fat derived from boiling down chicken meal can be converted to bio-diesel. It won’t be too long before your car will goe cluck-cluck-cluck!

Mushrooms

The regular old button mushrooms come to our rescue! Although the enzymes in most variety of mushrooms are capable of creating energy that is similar to that of sugar, button mushrooms are can produce an enhanced bio-fuel that’s like ethanol. This means, sometime in the near future, mushrooms will be able to sponsor a whole new kind of trip for you…and not just the hallucinogenic one!

Hazelnut

Love your hazelnut coffee? In future, it might do a lot more than perk you up in the mornings. Coffee grounds have always been valued for the oil that can be extracted from it. Now, hazelnuts have also been recognized as a high yielding source of oil. In fact, this source is a lot more promising than the other bio-fuels owing to the abundance of these nuts.

Split Peas

All this while you were having split pea soup, you had no idea that it could be potentially used to produce ethanol. No wonder you felt all revitalized after sipping on this stuff. Like hazelnut, split peas and corn are among the “hopefuls” of bio-fuel and are slated to render fossil fuel redundant soon. However, for that to happen, “Corn prices would have to rise more than 20 percent before peas break even” says North Dakota State University.

Apples

Cars propelled by apple cider? Nah! That’s not what we are talking about here. Scientists have discovered popular fruits like apples and oranges can be great sources of bio-fuel. The fructose derived from these fruits is known to have lower emissions that ethanol that is extracted from corn. Bye, bye, Apple Pie?


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