In this article I will briefly take a look at some of the truly alternative fuels being developed in the world. Renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, and biofuels, have become so popular and widely used that they cannot really be referred to as alternative. The following technologies are not generally ready for commercial sale just yet, but show promise for the future as a renewable energy source for small devices.
Lots of research is being done into using human energy to power personal devices. Some inventions include; a knee brace which converts the kinetic energy of the moving leg into useable electricity, and a backpack which also creates energy from the motion of walking. At the London Olympics this summer the newly built Westfield Stratford City Mall will create power from paving stones which absorb kinetic energy from peoples footsteps.
Other energy sources in development include small generators which create electricity from viruses, and a t-shirt battery which will be able to store enough power to small electronic devices.
Unfortunately these technologies are still in the development stage and years away from large scale use, however there are some ideas for electricity generation which are already, or very nearly, in production.
Hydrogen has been considered for some time as a potential energy source, and scientists at Virginia Tech have created a robotic jellyfish that can take hydrogen from the water to create the power it needs, effectively giving it an unlimited power source. Researchers at Harvard have also recently created a hydrogen fuel cell that can not only create energy from hydrogen, but also store it like a battery. The current capacity is only three and a half minutes worth of power, but it is currently only a prototype. With more research over the next couple of years this time can be greatly increased.
By. James Burgess of Oilprice.com