How F1 will adopt alternative fuels

How F1 will adopt alternative fuels

Formula 1 has committed to becoming a showcase for alternative fuels. PAT SYMONDS explains the science that will make F1 greener

In last month's column we looked at the need for F1 not just to embrace environmental sustainability but also to promote, using its sheer persuasive power, the path to an ultra-low carbon economy. This month we'll dig deeper into how we may achieve this, but first we need to expand a little on fuel chemistry.

Many fuels are made of combinations of carbon and hydrogen atoms. One of the most simple comes from combining four hydrogen atoms with one of carbon to give CH4 - a gas known as methane. Ethanol, the most common automotive bio-fuel, is made by combining two carbon atoms, six hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom to give C2H5OH. Ethanol has the advantage of being easy to make and therefore cheap, but unfortunately it doesn't have the energy content of gasoline.

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