Alternative Energy

Pros and Cons of Ethanol Fuel

Pros to Ethanol

  • Production is domestic, helping to make our nation more independent.

  • It is more environmental friendly compared to that of petroleum based fuel.

    • Less emission of harmful pollutants into the air

  • It is a renewable resource, so unlike crude oil, it does not have a set amount and will not reach depletion.

  • Increase in economic productivity. Farmers and their crops are in higher demand. The process of producing ethanol will provide more jobs.

  • The cars needed to be able to use high amounts of ethanol are of insignificant price variance compared to regular vehicles.

  • The higher the ethanol measure is in the fuel blend, the smoother the vehicle’s engine runs.

  • Ethanol is fairly cheaper per gallon in comparison to gasoline.

Cons of Ethanol

  • Ethanol has limited availability due to its ingredients (corn) being in high demand and only so many bushels that can be grown per year.

  • Any fuel blends over E10 can only be used by fuel flex cars.

  • Special distribution products are required for ethanol due to its corrosive behavior.

  • Ethanol does have less energy content in comparison to gas, thus providing lower gas mileage.

    • Even though ethanol fuel is cheaper, the vehicle’s tank requires filling up more than petroleum gas.

  • There is a limited number of E85 gas refuel stations. If people were to begin to use this fuel, there would not be enough access or supply to allow for it.

  • Since corn is mainly produced in the Midwest, most ethanol plants are concentrated in that region. Due to the difficulty in transporting ethanol, it has barely reached coastal states.
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