Steam-powered vehicles could reduce carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and also help in warming
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Could steam-powered cars decrease the carbon dioxide in our atmosphere? – Emma, age 16, Springville, Utah
With the growing severity and frequency of storms , heat waves and wildfires , and the other dangers from climate change , there are many reasons to be concerned about the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Scientists have shown that humanity’s addiction to burning fossil fuels is causing this problem , which means it’s time to kick that habit.
Since transportation is responsible for greater than one-quarter of the CO2 released through burning fossil fuels, cutting down on CO2 emissions is a matter of phasing out vehicles that run on diesel, gasoline and natural gas.
Steam powered a lot of earlier automobiles, which were manufactured around 1900. Could the same technology be used in another role?
The ‘Stanley Steamer
The steam-powered automobile became a reality after diesel oil and gasoline replaced coal and wood to power engines.
Innovators Francis as well as Freelan Stanley twin brothers, were automakers when they developed photographic technology. In 1898 and 1899, they sold more automobiles in the first automaker of their time in addition, the steam powered “Rocket Racer” set a record for speed in 1906..
In the beginning, cars that were powered by internal combustion motors, the ones that are in the most use in the present – were battling steam engines and winning the war on technology. Beginning in 1912 Electric starters created safer and more efficient through substituting dangerous hand cranks. In 1920, when the production lines began producing models like the Model T with an electric starter, Ford was selling hundreds of thousands of cars each year.
However, the steam cars of the early days were heavy and costly and took an extended time to produce sufficient steam that could get moving. Doble Steam Motors, another automaker from the beginning ,eventually resolved this issue along with many others; however, the cars remained expensive, and it was too late. The noisy and polluting, but less expensive internal combustion engine was winning out. In 1924, the Stanley Motor Carriage Co. stopped operations in 1924..
To be precise, since the heat required to boil water and create steam comes from somewhere These steam-powered cars burned fossil-fueled fuels in order to warm the water.
Twins and car manufacturer Freelan as well as Francis Stanley go for a ride on an earlier Stanley Steamer in 1897. PhotoQuest/Getty Images
A comeback to the 1970s
Steam power made a return throughout the 1970s, but not due to climate-related concerns. At the time, the pollution from vehicles was a huge issue, creating smog in cities..
Steam boilers are able to be more efficient at burning fuel than an ordinary internal combustion engine. This leads to cleaner exhaust, which is mostly carbon dioxide and water.
In the past, this was viewed as a positive improvement.
Certain cities fighting pollution from exhaust from cars included steam powered vehicles in their vehicles. The resurgence in popularity was only temporary because of the emergence of new technology that can reduce the amount of the emissions caused by combustion engines that are internal to the vehicle.
The steam-powered bus that was tested in the experiment was introduced in 1972. Frank Lodge/National Archives at College Park via Wikimedia Commons
The drawbacks of steam and the advantages of electricity
The most significant obstacle facing steam-powered vehicles is the fact that steam isn’t a source of energy. Instead, it’s the source of power that powers the vehicle’s wheels.
Although driving in steam-powered vehicles could help clean the air within the driver’s local communities, changing to steam-powered vehicles that still burn diesel and gasoline won’t decrease CO2 emissions.