Ethanol

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Ethanol

Ethanol can provide an alternative fuel source that may be a partial solution to the current energy crisis. Although when is not quite agreed upon, most experts can agree that the world will run out of fossil fuels at some point in time. In turn, this causes a need to search for alternative fuel sources. Is ethanol biofuel a solution and a good alternative? There seems to be more advantages then disadvantages, so yes overall, ethanol is an effective solution. Ethanol is produced from plant matter. The plant matter is broken down into simple sugars and starches and then fermented and distilled into alcohol. Many large farms in the Midwest have planted all or part of their land area to take advantage of the government subsidies which are offered for corn production to supply the ethanol production needs. Ethanol can be used in all cars in low concentrations, such as 10% ethanol. It can be used in specialized cars, trucks and minivans known as “flexible fuel vehicles” in concentrations up to 85% ethanol (commonly known as E85). Fuel stations in the Midwest are offering E85 fuel, often as a lower price per gallon then traditional fuel. There is a lot of controversy on the ethanol biofuel which centers on the cost to tax payers for ethanol subsidies, the environmental concerns focused especially on admissions in the ethanol production process, and the amount of net emission savings. Ethanol contains less energy per gallon than a gallon of gasoline. Meaning, a car will not go as far on a gallon ethanol as it would on a gallon of gasoline. Also ethanol can be more expensive than regular gasoline if the ethanol is purchased outside of the Midwest. According to the American Coalition for Ethanol, this type of fuel offers several benefits which includes that it is a renewable fuel in that it comes from agricultural crops. It only takes six…...

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