Ethanol as a Transportation Fuel Essay


In this paper I will research the usage of ethyl alcohol as an alternate fuel beginning. Ethanol is considered a renewable energy resource ; as it is derived from harvests such as: maize. sugar cane. Beta vulgariss. every bit good as. other organic stuffs. The usage of ethyl alcohol could diminish our dependance on of all time consuming supplies of fossil fuels ; such as oil. In this paper. I will briefly reexamine how ethanol is produced in different parts of the universe. I will besides reexamine several of the advantages of utilizing ethyl alcohol as a renewable beginning of energy for the transit sector.

Many environmental organisations support the usage of ethyl alcohol as it burns cleaner than fossil fuels. Ethanol is considered a renewable resource because it is works based. Additionally. this paper will reexamine several of the common disadvantages of utilizing ethyl alcohol as an alternate fuel beginning for the transit sector. One of the chief issues is the sum of farm land required to bring forth adequate ethyl alcohol to significantly countervail the sum of fossil fuel presently consumed. This paper will besides reexamine current United States policies that support the usage of ethyl alcohol by American consumers.

Ethanol as a Transportation Fuel

One of the major jobs the universe is faced with today is what to make about our dependence on fossil fuels. Petroleum dependance is a large job for the United States because the supply will finally be depleted if consumers continue to utilize it at the current rate of ingestion. In an attempt to happen a feasible option to foreign oil. many politicians and environmental groups have been to a great extent advancing the usage of options fuels such as ethyl alcohol. The continued additions in oil monetary values. strong farmer support. authorities subsidies. and environmental concerns have led to major enlargement of planetary ethyl alcohol usage over the last few old ages. Even though its usage has increased over the past decennary. ethyl alcohol has been around for several centuries. “In 1908. Ford Motor Company’s foremost auto. the Model T. used maize intoxicant for fuel energy ( gasolene ) ” ( Ethanol Fuel History. March 2009 ) .

Ethanol is produced by the agitation of starches or sugars. The usual get downing stuff is maize. sugar cane. sugar Beta vulgaris. or certain types of grasses. Agitation is the same procedure used in the production of alcoholic drinks. It can be either mass-produced by agitation of sugars or from cellulose. “Brazil. the Saudi Arabia of sugar cane. is the world’s 2nd largest ethyl alcohol manufacturer after the United States. About 45 % of Brazil’s motor vehicles run on ethanol-gasoline mixtures produced from bagass. a residue of sugarcane” ( Miller. T. . Spoolman. S. . 2009. pg. 218 ) . Corn is the most common harvest used for ethanol production in the United States. Reports and experts are showings tendencies that the usage of trade goods such as maize and sugar cane are impacting both the economic system and the environment in a negative manner. Food monetary values and fuel monetary values are on a record addition due to the extra demand for fuels. There are advantages and disadvantages to utilizing biofuels.

The followers are some of the advantages of the usage of ethyl alcohol. Ethanol-blended fuels can cut down the net emanations of nursery gases. The emanations produced by firing ethyl alcohol are less than those produced by firing gasolene. “In 2007 an EPA survey estimated that utilizing maize ethyl alcohol would cut down nursery gas emanations by about 22 % compared to firing gasoline” ( Miller. T. . Spoolman. S. . 2009. pg. 218 ) . In the United States. ethyl alcohol is chiefly derived from maize which is a renewable resource that is grown by American husbandmans. Ethanol besides benefits energy security as it shifts the demand for some foreign-produced oil to domestically bring forth energy beginnings. Some signifiers of harvests used for ethanol production produce a high energy output. “Using switchgrass to bring forth ethanol outputs about 5. 4 times more energy than it takes to turn it” ( Miller. T. . Spoolman. S. . 2009. pg. 218 ) .

The followers are some of the disadvantages of the usage of ethyl alcohol: The production of ethyl alcohol requires the usage of nutrient based trade goods such as maize. As the universe population continues to turn this could take to additions in nutrient monetary values and nutrient deficits. Certain safeguards have to be taken. “because E85 is a caustic dissolver. fuel storage armored combat vehicles and distributing equipment must be corrosion and harm resistant” ( Ethanol – A Renewable Energy Source. n. d. ) . Additionally. big sums of land are required to turn harvests such as maize. sugar cane and/or switchgrass. This could ensue in the glade of more forest land. which could hold a negative impact on the environment and local ecosystems.

The United States authorities has implemented a figure of policies in support of biofuels. These policies are intended to back up American husbandmans. cut down our dependance on foreign oil and cut down nursery gases. Some current policies include: “The Energy Policy Act of 2005. written by the EPA contains ordinances to guarantee that gasolene sold in the United States contains a minimal volume of renewable fuel.

The Renewable Fuel Standard Program was signed in 2006. This national renewable fuel plan is designed to promote the blending of renewable fuels ( ethyl alcohol ) into our nation’s motor vehicle fuel. The countrywide Renewable Fuels Standard ( RFS ) will duplicate the usage of ethyl alcohol and biodiesel by 2012. In December 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act signed by Congress and the President. which requires the usage of 15 billion gallons of renewable ( ethyl alcohol ) fuel by 2015” ( Ethanol Fuel History. March 2009 ) .

I do non believe the current United States scheme for ethyl alcohol usage and production is executable. The current output of maize based ethyl alcohol is low compared to other signifiers of ethyl alcohol. The output of maize based ethyl alcohol is merely 1. 1 to 1. 5 times the sum of energy it takes to bring forth it. This merely means that it requires 1 gallon of fuel to bring forth 1. 1 – 1. 5 gallons of ethyl alcohol. A immense sum of land would hold to be cleared. for harvest production. to do a important impact on the sum of fossil fuels that we presently use. This could hold a negative impact on our environment ; as we clear forest land and change over it to farmland. We must go on to research higher giving signifiers of ethyl alcohol. every bit good other signifiers of renewable energy.


An progressively of import issue. the whole universe faces today. is the trust on fossil fuels as an energy beginning. These fossil fuels include: coal. natural gas. and most significantly. crude oil. While crude oil and coal are in fact biologically based ; it took 1000000s of old ages for it to organize. This energy is non considered renewable because of the clip it takes for the energy to construct up. In order for us to keep our transit needs ; there must be a drastic alteration in the beginnings of energy used to power our vehicles. Over the past few old ages. the usage of ethyl alcohol has received tonss of support and its usage continues to turn. Many protagonists of ethanol province that ethanol non merely reduces our dependance on foreign oil. but provides occupations for Americans. One possible solution to this job is for the United States to cut down its dependance on crude oil by going more dependent on renewable energy beginnings such as biofuels.

The most common biofuel used today is ethanol. which is produced by the agitation of certain workss. In the United States most ethyl alcohol is presently produced from maize. Other states. such as Brazil. usage sugar cane. There are a figure of advantages to utilizing ethyl alcohol as a beginning of renewable energy. Ethanol burns cleaner than crude oil based merchandises. such as gasolene. This lowers the C02 emanations. which reduces the sum of nursery gases released into the ambiance. Ethanol is see a renewable energy beginning because it is works based and can easy be grown by husbandmans. Ethanol can besides be produced locally ; cut downing our dependance on foreign oil. There are besides some drawbacks to utilizing ethyl alcohol. One of the major drawbacks is that it is derived from nutrient harvests such as maize.

As the universe population continues to turn. the demand for nutrient will besides go on to increase. There are besides environmental concerns to utilizing ethyl alcohol. To well countervail the sum of fossil fuels we presently use would necessitate a immense sum on farming area. This may necessitate extra wood land to be cleared. which could hold a negative impact on the environment. Another disadvantage to ethanol is that it can non be used in older vehicles ; as it will damage internal constituents. To excite the industry in the United States. federal revenue enhancement credits have been extended to biofuel manufacturers. which make them even more competitory with fossil fuels.

Environmental groups support the usage of ethyl alcohol ; as it reduces the sum of harmful nursery gases that are released into the ambiance. The enthusiastic support of ethyl alcohol is non motivated strictly by the desire to salvage fossil fuels. Much of the support it receives is from the influence of the ethyl alcohol industry and husbandmans that profit from maize production. For ethyl alcohol to go a feasible alternate fuel for America ; we need to look at different harvests such as sugar cane that produce a higher output. Additionally. we need to go on to look for other alternate energy beginnings that will non vie for nutrient harvests.

Ethanol – A Renewable Energy Source ( n. d. ) . Retrieved 22 July 2011. from hypertext transfer protocol: //www. extraordinaryroadtrip. org/research-library/technology/ethanol/advantages. asp Ethanol Fuel History ( March 2009 ) . Retrieved 22 July 2011. from hypertext transfer protocol: //www. fuel-testers. com

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Miller. T. . Spoolman. S. ( 2009 ) . Prolonging the Earth. 10e. Belmont. Calcium: Brooks/Cole