BENEFITS OF Ethanol
There are a number of benefits to using Ethanol in our nation's fuel supply:
Improved air quality Ethanol increases the oxygen content of fuel-leading to more complete combustion, reduced tailpipe emissions and reduced greenhouse gas emissions.
Clean power Ethanol increases the octane rating of fuel-providing enhanced performance while reducing the level of toxins in gasoline.
Reduced use of imported oil Ethanol is made from renewable sources produced in the U.S.-reducing our reliance on imported oil and extending our nation's fuel supply.
Environmental benefits In addition to its clean air benefits, Ethanol does not pollute ground water.
Net energy winner Ethanol production results in a net energy gain-resulting in 67 percent more energy than it takes to produce it.
Ethanol and the Environment
Using Ethanol means that we use a little bit less oil (a nonrenewable fuel) to make gasoline. Unlike gasoline, Ethanol is nontoxic (safe to handle) and biodegradable, it quickly breaks down into harmless substances if spilled. When small amounts of Ethanol are added to gasoline, usually less than 10 percent, there are many advantages. Ethanol reduces carbon monoxide and other toxic pollution from the tailpipes of vehicles, making the air cleaner. It keeps engines running smoothly without the need for lead or other chemical additives. Because Ethanol is made from crops that absorb carbon dioxide and give off oxygen, it has the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help maintain the balance of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. This process is called the carbon cycle.
Ethanol is a renewable fuel. Renewable fuels are fuels that we can make again and again without depleting valuable resources in the earth. Extracting crude oil from the ground depletes resources from the earth’s crust. The crops we use for Ethanol, on the other hand, can be grown, harvested, and grown again every year. This means that we can make Ethanol this year, next year, and the year after that by growing corn or other crops. By using renewable fuels, we can preserve the resources that are remaining in the earth - but still get the fuel our economy needs.
Ethanol reduces pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Ethanol contains a higher percentage of oxygen than traditional petroleum-based gasoline. Because of it, Ethanol burns more completely than petroleum-based gasoline, and does not contribute to global warming like burning petroleum-based fuels does. In fact, using Ethanol as a motor fuel reduces greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 46%. Using just 10% Ethanol in your gas tank reduces greenhouse gas emissions by up to 19%.
Ethanol does not pollute ground water. Because of Ethanol’s chemical structure, Ethanol phase separates when it comes into contact with water. This makes it very safe for the environment because Ethanol is biodegradable. It also means that Ethanol will not pollute ground water like many other potential fuel sources could.
Ethanol Is Cheaper To Make Than Gasoline. Ethanol costs about 75 per gallon to make. Gasoline cost about $1.60 per gallon to refine. It only costs about $30 to convert a car to be a flex fuel vehicle, but doing it can save hundreds of gallons of fuel per year.
Ethanol Is Easy To Switch To. Ethanol can use today’s vehicles, today’s fuel distribution infrastructure, and allows us to leverage today’s technologies in order to use these renewable resources. We can blend Ethanol with traditional gasoline in grades from E10 to E85. Even hybrid vehicles can run off of Ethanol.
Ethanol supports local farmers. Ethanol is produced in local markets from available renewable resources, such as corn and sugar cane. When you purchase Ethanol, your money stays nearby, going to local farmers that produced the crops used and the refineries that produced the fuel. But when you buy gasoline, some of each dollar boosts oil companies’ record profits - and the rest goes overseas.
Ethanol reduces our dependence on foreign oil. About 45% of all of American oil consumption is used as gasoline fuel for consumer vehicles. By using Ethanol as a substitute and/or additive to petroleum-based gasoline, Ethanol helps to reduce regional dependence on imported oil and petroleum products. We import millions of barrels of oil and millions of gallons of refined gasoline every day. By switching to Ethanol and Ethanol blends, we can continue to grow our economy while reducing our addiction to foreign oil.
Ethanol can be made from nearly anything. Though Ethanol was first made decades ago, the technologies used in today’s Ethanol industry are still in their infancy. Most of today’s Ethanol production is made from corn and sugar. The technology for using waste products, such as unusable portions of crops, to produce cellulosic Ethanol is on the horizon - and it will completely revolutionize the way we fuel our cars.
OTHER ADVANTAGES OF Ethanol
Gasoline enriched with Ethanol contains more oxygen — so it burns cleaner, leaving fewer deposits and keeping fuel injectors and intake valves cleaner.
Ethanol-enriched fuel can reduce pre-ignition problems (knocking/pinging).
Ethanol-enriched gasoline can tolerate water contamination to a far greater degree than gasoline alone — it absorbs moisture and helps prevent gasoline freeze-up in cold weather.
The heat energy of all gasoline-based motor fuel varies somewhat by formulation, region and time of year. Ethanol burns slightly cooler than straight gasoline: On average, a gallon of 10% Ethanol-enriched gasoline contains about 112,000 BTUs of heat energy, compared to 114,000 BTUs for straight gasoline. Cooler combustion temperatures contribute to increased engine longevity.
Adding 10% Ethanol to regular unleaded gas typically increases the octane rating from 87 to 89.5 or higher. This boost can reduce knocking and pinging, and allows cars with knock sensors to gain increased power.
Ethanol Betters The Environment... And The Economy
In addition to Ethanol's performance advantages, its air-quality benefits are great also. Because Ethanol-enriched gasoline contains more oxygen than regular gasoline, it burns more completely, which reduces carbon monoxide emissions.
Ethanol fuel is a pure alcohol with high octane. As an alternative fuel source, E85 Ethanol fuel price is also cheaper than regular gasoline. Motorists love the high-octane power, the "kick in" as it is called when the vehicle accelerates. It is not surprising that big vehicles like trucks are even using E85 Ethanol fuel. Besides just the higher octane and boost, it burns better and thus creates a cleaner engine and promotes the life span of the vehicle's engine. With a 113 octane rating, Ethanol is the highest performance fuel on the market. The number 85 as E85 means that the fuel is a blend of 85 percent Ethanol and 15 percent gasoline.
For companies that operate with fleets of trucks and big engine vehicles, Ethanol fuel is really a blessing because the fuel consumption for trucks and big engine cars is much higher. This translates to higher overheads for any company. E85 Ethanol fuel is cheaper than regular gasoline and this adds up to a substantial savings for the organization. Bottom line for any organization is to reduce overheads and this is where alternative fuel source like Ethanol fuel or even biodiesel fuel can help.
Ethanol fuel produced from corn does, and can reduce the dependency for imported oil from foreign countries to a large level.
As on date, all advanced countries and underdeveloped countries globally have passed comprehensive energy legislation to produce Ethanol fuel and to be self reliant by 2012-15.
Currently, although Ethanol fuel making in the developed countries is produced mainly from corn, in the pipeline, the production of Ethanol fuel will be produced also from biomass such as wheat stalks and forestry waste.
Ethanol production has never been as relevant, as important, and as profitable as it is today. Limited crude oil supplies, and refining capabilities, undesirable dependence on foreign imports and new environmental regulations have set the stage to significantly boost production. Creating a need not only to upgrade and expand existing facilities but to build new plants.