Scientists come up with low-cost ‘artificial petrol’

January 31st, 2011 - 5:09 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Jan 31 (IANS) Artificial petrol that costs 19 pence per litre could be available in as little as three years.

Scientists in Britain are refining the recipe for a hydrogen-based fuel that will run in existing cars and engines at a fraction of the cost of petrol.

With hydrogen at its heart rather than carbon, it will not produce any harmful emissions during combustion, making it cleaner, greener and cheaper, the Daily Mail reports.

The first road tests are due next year and, if all goes well, the cut-price “petrol” could be on sale in three to five years, the report says.

Professor Stephen Bennington, the project’s lead scientist from Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, said: “In some senses, hydrogen is the perfect fuel. It has three times more energy than petrol per unit of weight, and when it burns, it produces nothing but water.

“Our new hydrogen storage materials offer real potential for running cars, planes and other vehicles that currently use hydrocarbons.”

The fuel is expected to cost around $1.50 a gallon, or 19p a litre. Even with fuel taxes, the forecourt price is likely to be around 60p a litre - less than half the current cost in the UK.

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