The latest research from the University of Oxford suggests that a car could be run on Tequila, or at least something produced in much the same way.
Researchers at the university say that Agave, the plant from which Tequila is distilled, could be the perfect plant from which to produce ethanol, which is of course an excellent alternative fuel to drive motor vehicles.
One of the biggest advantages of the desert plant is that it flourishes under harsh conditions, such as dry, marginalised land. It could thus easily be grown as a crop from which to produce fuel without harming food production in any way.
A large percentage of ethanol is currently produced using food crops such as corn. This has resulted in harsh criticism from economists who say that this diverts vital food production and therefore pushes up food prices.
According to the study carried out by Oxford researchers, Agave will provide excellent yields even when grown under very hot, dry conditions.
Their research was published in the Journal of Energy and Environmental Science.
They also found that emission levels for agave-based ethanol were much lower than for ethanol based on corn, 35g of C02 per megajoule of energy instead of 85g/megajoule.
Burning petrol, on the other hand, produces much higher levels of C02, in the region of 100 grams per megajoule of energy. This means that widespread use of agave-based ethanol in motorcars cold eventually slash C02 emission levels by nearly two thirds.
Author - Louise Hutchinson
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