|Home | News | Glossary | FAQs | Links | Contact|
|What is Biofuel? | Research | Buying & Selling Grease | Industry Info | Purchase Biofuel | Fleet Operators|
In its very basic meaning ethanol is grain alcohol that is produced from renewable crops such as corn. Ethanol is produced through the process of fermentation like any other alcohol and is now being incorporated into motor fuel. By adding ethanol to motor fuel, the production of dangerous greenhouse gasses is reduced; a greenhouse gas is a type of gas that absorbs and emits solar radiation back down to the surface of earth, creating a warming effect. While they are essential to maintaining a habitable planet, in high levels they can cause temperatures to rise.
Today, 100% ethanol is not used in vehicles anywhere in the world. Brazil however, not only has the largest ethanol fuel industry, but all gasoline sold in Brazil contains at least 25% ethanol. Unlike the U.S., Brazil utilizes sugar cane to produce their ethanol. In the United States, only about 46% of all gasoline contains 10% ethanol (this is called E-10), even though most automakers recommend its use because of high performance. Another type of ethanol is E-85, which contains 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline. E-85 is used in over 6 million flexible fuel vehicles (FFV) on American roads (a flexible fuel vehicle is a car, truck or SUV that can run on E-85 or unleaded gasoline). As more FFV are produced, more pumps are being installed nationwide. For more information on locations of E-85 fuel pumps in Connecticut click HERE.
There are many different arguments surrounding the topic of large scale ethanol production in the United States. With the current state of the economy and the constant loss of American jobs, the topic of ethanol production on America soil is a very optimistic one. Ethanol production would benefit communities where crops are grown and processed, creating millions of jobs. Having large scale ethanol productions in the United States would also help towards independence from foreign fossil fuel. While unrelated to the economy, by substituting ethanol into gasoline, the amount of carcinogens being emitted into the earth's atmosphere will be decreased. This is largely because ethanol is renewable as well as environmentally friendly by reducing emissions of greenhouse gasses such as carbon monoxide.
While there are undoubtedly countless reasons why ethanol is good, there are also arguments that mass production of ethanol will be detrimental to food supplies and drive food prices sky high. Other researchers argue that corn ethanol is not a good energy source because it yields only slightly more energy than it takes to produce it. These are same researchers suggest that switchgrass is a much better ethanol source because it produces five times as much energy as the total used to produce the crop and convert it into fuel.
For more information on ethanol visit: