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Looking For Alternative Ways to Fuel Your Car?

In Green & Ethical Living by eva.katona@yahoo.comLeave a Comment

Looking For Alternative Ways to Fuel Your Car?

As we all know, fossil fuel is a depleting commodity that’s becoming more and more scarce.  There are serious negative impacts on consuming fossil fuel, and from a cost perspective, the law of supply and demand means it is destined to rise in price.  

With fuel prices in the UK ever increasing it’s a good idea to consider alternative fuels as a way to save money and help the environment.  

Today, even businesses are taking their responsibility toward the environment more seriously, as an example, the Mercedes-Benz Dedicated Small Business Team are often advising company car users to consider using more fuel efficient and environmentally friendly vehicles as a way to save businesses substantial amounts of money.

The main fuel sources are obviously petrol and diesel; yet there are an increasing number of energy efficient cars that utilise greener fuels such as LPG, or hybrid cars, that run primarily on electricity.

vintage car

Photo by Genie Austin on Unsplash


Here are three quirky alternatives that you might be less aware of.


In the Caribbean, many older cars are fueled on leftover oil; albeit this is a crude and homemade practice, it does appear to work, and this homemade biofuel would be a lot cheaper than diesel.  In fact, it has been shown to perform roughly the same as conventional diesel and produces less emissions!

Currently in the UK, this is practiced by only a few hundred people, but that’s probably more than you were expecting.  What tends to happen, is drivers pick up leftover oil from fish and chip shops to then utilise it within their diesel cars.  It’s important to note, however, that this practice is unlikely to work on newer model cars – we’re talking about much more basic cars pre millenium.

  1.  GAS OIL

You may not be aware that there are two different classes of fuel, for tax purposes.  On the one hand, there’s the diesel you get out of the fuel station pump and then there’s gas oil, often known as red diesel due to it being dyed red.

Red diesel is practically the same as standard diesel in its composition, yet a lot cheaper, due to the reduction in the level of tax applied – as its purpose is for powering tractors, plants, machinery and boats.  In practice, of course, there are plenty of farmers that will be using red diesel to fuel their car, but this is illegal and pretty easy to spot given the red dye.


There’s currently a lot of research into the area of biofuel, some of which are quite obscure, for instance the University of Louisiana is proposing to use alligator fat (an unused byproduct of the farming of alligators) or other animal fat such as cows and pigs, to turn into a fuel that can be used by cars.

This idea relies on an innovative technique whereby the fat reacts with methanol at high temperatures in order to produce biofuel.  The interesting thing about this process, is that it can be done within a few minutes, which gives it strong commercial potential and whilst it might sound a little distasteful in some ways it’s often viewed as positive to use the whole animal rather than waste their sacrifice.

In summary, there are all sorts of alternative ways to fuel your car, but in reality, you’re probably best off purchasing a hybrid electric car than these weird and wonderful solutions.

This is a collaborative post.

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