Biofuel: Bioethanol

By Sarah Chen, Caleb Garr, and Kayla Hicks

Did You know?

  • Bioethanol is a clear, colorless liquid
  • Bioethanol can be used to blend with petrol, a fossil fuel.
  • Bioethanol is made from food crops
  • It is the most commonly produced biofuel in the world
  • Its largest producers are the US and Brazil

How it works

  • Biofuel are liquid or gaseous fuels made from plant or animal material
  • Bioethanol is qualifies as a biofuel, because it is made from plants like corn
  • To be used as a fuel, bioethanol must be mixed with petrol, and typically a mixture will contain 10% bioethanol and 90% petrol
  • It is made from sugary and starchy parts of crops such as sugar cane, corn or wheat

Advantages

  • Bioethanol is a renewable fuel, because the plant material from which it is made can be replenished.
  • It produce at least 50% less greenhouse gas emissions compared with fossil fuel (Although the calculations of greenhouse gases is a controversial area of science)

Disadvantages

  1. Bioethanol cannot be used as a fuel on its own
  2. It can only make up 10% of the fuel
  3. It has to be mixture with petrol which is the normal car fuel
  4. There has only be a slightly difference between bioethanol and petrol
  5. Bioethanol absorbs water from the atmosphere, so it is not a pure ethanol
  6. It has a lower energy density than fossil fuel, and able to drive fewer miles than normal car fuel
  7. Bioethanol made from corn in the US has been blamed for driving up the price of corn and other grains.

Implement or not

We believe the company should deliberately think about the advantages and disadvantages of bioethanol first. Do not use the ethanol right ahead, because there is some disadvantages you would like to deliberately think about, and the disadvantages might cause even more terrible things in the future than what had happen to the Earth now. For example, bioethanol cause corn price to rise. Another reason is it only make up 10% of the biofuel, so it is not a big change to our environment.