These advances have been described in a series of podcasts titled "New Fuels", an initiative by American Chemical Society. Part one of 'New Fuels' begins by describing the vision of automobile pioneer Henry Ford, who predicted almost 70 years ago that cars of the future would run on ethanol. That has become the No. 1 biofuel today - a genre of fuels produced from plants.
It then describes the latest research advances in biofuels, such as producing ethanol from non-food sources such as grass, that could be more sustainable than corn-based ethanol.
Part Two describes how "the ice that burns" - gas hydrates - offer a potential new bonanza of natural gas, with rich deposits in the United States and elsewhere.
Another segment explores artificial photosynthesis and describes researchers' efforts to split water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen in order to produce clean-burning hydrogen fuel.
The podcast also highlights how scientists are continuing to make strides toward less expensive but more efficient solar cells and safer nuclear power.