WKU Researches Alternative Fuels

With gas prices at almost $3 a gallon, researchers are looking into using alternative fuels as energy. Here in Bowling Green Western's Institute for Combustion Science and Environmental Technology is in the process of converting coal into hydrogen.

"As gasoline becomes more expensive, more uncertain, developing a resource we have in our own country is an advantage," researcher, John Smith said.

At Western's Center for Research and Development, researchers are working on alternative fuels like converting coal to hydrogen.

"It's a process where coal and water are combined and in this process the hydrogen that's in the water is made present as a fuel source," Smith said.

Researchers say it makes sense to use coal since the resource is so plentiful in our country. The World Coal Institute reported that back in 2005 the U.S. was second to China as a hard coal producer.

"It's said the U.S. is the Saudi Arabia of coal - that we do have a great amount of coal reserves that are proven," Smith said.

Since carbon is not released, the conversion process uses clean energy.

"So we don't have the greenhouse emission concern from coal fired powerplants or even from transportation services," Smith said.

For more information on coal you can log onto www.worldcoal.org and for more information on hydrogen from coal, be sure to click here. You can also visit the Alternative Fuels Data Center for more information on alternative fuels and to compare alternative fuel properties.

Want to find the lowest gas prices in Bowling Green or the surrounding area? Check out WBKO's Gas Gauge for area gas prices.