The Truth Behind Ethanol

By PSU EcoMerge Capstone - 10:37 AM

With today's astronomical gas prices and increased fuel consumption we are all searching for answers that will not only ease or checkbooks but help protect the environment as well. Many different energy resources have been explored as alternative fuel sources including solar power, hydrogen and ethanol. However out of these three possibilities ethanol is one that we are all utilizing daily as our gasoline now contains 10% ethanol. While many believe ethanol is a benefit to our environment and a less expensive alternative they are mistaken.

There are a wide variety of problems with ethanol use.

1. Ethanol is less efficient than gasoline which means drivers are having to fill up their gas tanks more than ever.

2. Ethanol cannot be transported in traditional pipelines and must be transported by vehicles which are consuming more fuel and further polluting the environment while using more fuel.

3. The creation of ethanol is hurting our food supply driving up the cost of food for people and the animals we eat.

Even with all of its problems Congress continues to set its sight on increasing the use of ethanol and other bio-fuels in the United States. According to a Chicago Sun Times Article from 5/22/08, "...annual increases in the amount of bio fuels added to the fuel supply -- 9 billion gallons by the end of this year, increasing to 36 billion gallons by 2022..." are in store for our future.

http://www.ucsusa.org/clean_vehicles/fuel_economy/ethanol-frequently-asked-questions.html

http://www.businessweek.com/technology/content/may2006/tc20060519_225336.htm

http://www.suntimes.com/business/964699,CST-FIN-ethanol22.article

Jeremiah

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