Focus on Alternative Energy
There are a multitude of what one might call ‘alternative’ sources of energy – biofuels, wind, solar, solar-thermal, hydroelectric, hydrogen fuel cells – simply because they supply a small portion of the world’s total energy needs. In this text, we introduced biofuels in the ‘Focus on Energy’ section simply as an alternative combustible to the fossil fuels that we spent most of that section on. In this section we will introduce a few others but limit our discussion to hydroelectric power, batteries and hydrogen based power as they all have significant chemistry-based fundamentals at the level of this text.
Refer to the information discussed in the previous Focus section as well as Part XII of this text and elaborate on the following focus boxes, solving any problems that appear. While learning the basics of electrochemistry and using hydrogen as a fuel source, make note of important distinctions between this and other types of fuels in meeting our energy demands. One must understand the benefits and challenges of the processes that are currently in use and those being proposed to meet our future energy demands in order to decide on the best route for moving forward.