How do you visualize the future of transportation? No matter what you answer to that question, it’s unavoidable to say that Tesla’s founder, Elon Musk, has been in charge of planting and watering some wacky and wild ideas in our minds.
Nevertheless, not everything is fantasy. Indeed, some of those ideas have already materialized, and some other are just slowly cooking in the oven to become great solutions and innovations to present needs. Some of these are vehicles that work properly with electricity instead of gasoline to modern and complex features like the self-driving ability.
In this way, now that we know science and technology are capable of opening portals to astonishing uses and applications of resources, can you fathom that the next earth-friendly fuel for transportation could be proportioned by ants and bees? Millennials don’t just want to read the news anymore, they want to know what they can do about it!
Formic acid to be the eco-friendly Tesla superchargers’ competitor
So far, it’s been demonstrated that even the human body can be used as a source of energy, so the science and technology are out there at the expert’s disposition, just waiting for someone who exploits it wisely. This time, the findings are about an acid normally found in nature when injected by the stinging of some ants species and bees: the formic acid.
In fact, the formic acid may be a form of energy storage that can become cheaper to produce, more practical and more sustainable than other renewable energy sources, so that a group of students from the Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands is betting to demonstrate it might be the eco-friendly fuel source of tomorrow.
They designed both a bus and a vehicle (expected to be around the Netherlands’ roads at the end of the year) which will work with a fuel called hydrazine. It is a liquid that would fuel the hydrogen fuel cells that are used to power electric vehicles — And no worries, neither a bee or an ant were killed or will be to achieve this new source of charge successfully. Indeed, to obtain the acid, the students just made a chemical reaction between water (H2O) and carbon dioxide (CO2).
Electric recharge vehicles: still way too expensive and not enough ecological
It’s good to know there are people out there aware that electric charge cars are not the best option to definitely stop using gasoline. Otherwise, their success would have been unstoppable. In fact, they often seem to present them more as a luxury than a real implementation of technology at everyone’s hands, including the environment.
For example, all was happiness and fun until the beginning this year with Musk’s car company, when Tesla announced their new rates for using its public superchargers, which doing the math, at the end would cost the same than gas in places like Spain, and once was advertised as free.
On the other hand, I wonder how ecological it is to fill the planet with Tesla electric chargers stations, not to mention the loss of valuable time spent there while waiting for our car’s batteries to recharge. Unless you have a fat wallet, who can afford to purchase vehicles like the Fisker’s EMotion, a promised car that will be electrically charged in no more and no less than 9 minutes.
— Henrik Fisker (@FiskerOfficial) June 28, 2017
In any case, Netherlands has lately been a model in concerns to environmental transportation. Although, the formic acid uses are nothing new considering it’s already used to process textiles and leather, to preserve food for livestock, and also in cleaning products to eliminate tartar, it will be interesting to see how this groundbreaking application will be developed for the automotive sector.