ETHANOL - FIELD OF DREAMS
WHAT IS ETHANOL?
Ethanol is created when corn is fermented and is diluted with gasoline. It is a popular fuel source today and has been used for years. Henry Ford first designed his Model T in 1908 fully expecting ethanol to be the major fuel used. In fact, the fuel caught on in the early years. In the early 1920's the Standard Oil company sold ethanol in the Baltimore area to test the fuel.
When they tested ethanol, they found that it was quite expensive to produce, because the price of corn was so steep. That is why in 50's and 60's ethanol wasn't salable. But it was brought back in the late 1970's when a Middle Eastern oil shortage made ethanol cheaper than regular gasoline. It is used today throughout the USA.
HOW DOES ETHANOL AFFECT THE QUALITY OF AIR?
Studies have shown that ethanol actually improves the quality of air in major cities. With ethanol, fewer toxins are released into the air. Because ethanol is diluted gasoline, there is less crude oil exhaust shot into the sky. In addition ethanol alleviates the smog problems in some major American cities like we have never seen before. Ethanol is a fairly natural product, utilizing corn products, sunshine, water flow, and wind in order to produce an effective fuel. It reduces the amount of pollution we shoot into our atmosphere.
HOW DOES ETHANOL AFFECT GAS PRICES?
The price of ethanol depends on the price of gasoline, the price of corn, and the price of labor and equipment used to mix the two substances. When the price of producing corn and ethanol is higher than the normal prices of producing gasoline, you will pay more for ethanol than you will for normal gasoline. However, if the price of producing ethanol remains low, it can prove beneficial for motorists' pocketbooks when oil production is also low, as ethanol prices would be significantly less expensive.
In 1998, the agriculture industry won a major victory when Congress agreed to extend the ethanol tax incentive through 2007. The bill has since been signed into law by President Clinton, ensuring the continued growth of the industry of through a tax break of 5.3 cents per gallon for 10% ethanol-blended fuel, with modest reductions every two years.
Ethanol reduces our nation's dependence on imported fuels by nearly 100,000 barrels daily.
One bushel of corn can produce 2.5 gallons of ethanol. One acre of corn can produce 300 gallons of ethanol, enough to fuel four cars for one year with 10% ethanol-blend.
Ethanol is a renewable, biodegradable, cleaner-burning fuel. Unlike other fuel additives such as MTBE, ethanol poses no risk to water quality. In American cities that do not meet public health standards for levels of ozone and carbon monoxide (CO), the Clean Air Act requires that gasoline include the addition of oxygenates, such as ethanol. Today, more than one-third of the nation's gasoline contains some level of oxygenates (such as ethanol) to reduce harmful emissions and improve the nation's air quality. Ethanol lowers carbon monoxide (CO) emissions by 30 percent, and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 27 percent. According to a January 1998 study by the Argonne National Laboratory, vehicles that use ethanol actually offset fossil fuel green house gas emissions by 35-46 percent. The use of cleaner-burning ethanol reduces the amount of noxious fumes and volatile organic compounds that standard gasoline spews into the air.
Ten percent ethanol blend is warranted for use by all auto manufacturers. Ethanol guards against gas line freeze by absorbing moisture that may get in the tank in cold weather. Ethanol is a proven octane enhancer and replacement for lead and other toxic compounds in gasoline. Major manufacturers of small engines, including outboard motors, snowmobiles, lawn mowers, motorcycles, and chain saws approve ethanol-blended fuels for use.
WHAT IS THE FUTURE?
The future of ethanol as a fuel is important to the United States. The transportation sector, today, depends heavily on petroleum. Replacing gasoline and diesel fuel with ethanol fuel would greatly reduce U.S. vulnerability to disruptions or shortages in the supply of foreign petroleum. Ethanol production is America's only domestically produced, clean burning, renewable fuel. It is distilled primarily from corn, has a high octane rating and burns cooler than other fuels. The production of ethanol provides jobs for thousands of Americans. New markets for farmers are opened. The development and promotion of ethanol fuel has accounted for a market of more than 450 million bushels of corn each year. Ethanol also contributes to cleaner air. Many cities in the U.S. suffer from unhealthy levels of carbon monoxide and low-level ozone, or smog. These problems cost billions of dollars annually in increased health care associated with respiratory and heart disease. Ethanol blends reduce these harmful pollutants emitted in the air.
Energy Engergy Resources offers complete Ethanol project management or selected services to help make profitable decisions and get the job done.