Summarise The Use Of Ethanol As An Alternative Fuel Source, Evaluating The Success Of Current Usage And Assess Its Potential Use As An Alternative Fuel.

1335 words - 5 pages

Bio-ethanol is manufactured from fermenting starch, wheat and sugar cane. Ethanol is also made from the hydration of ethylene from petroleum, though the majority of ethanol is produced by fermentation. It is considered an alternative fuel source as it is regarded to be renewable and more beneficial to the environment. As a car fuel ethanol is blended with petrol in different concentrations.In cars, carbon monoxide is produced from the incomplete combustion of petroleum. By adding ethanol which has 35% oxygen the combustion is more complete and there for reducing the amount of carbon monoxide. Within Australia, studies have shown that the effects of 10% ethanol have decreased the amount of carbon monoxide emissions.In Brazil 10% of the energy used is provided from ethanol. In car fuel the mix of ethanol and petrol is about 85% ethanol with only about 15% petrol but in Australia fuels that contain ethanol are mainly about 10% ethanol and 90% petrol. Though a 85% ethanol blend has started being used in Australia but is not available at all petrol stations. As a car fuel it is blended with petrol to decrease how fast petrol burns, extend petrol reserves and to reduce green house gas emissions. For Brazil the use of ethanol as a car fuel has been very successful as it has a very large starch industry. It is also beneficial to the country economically because the high concentration use of ethanol has replaced expensive oil imports with locally produced fuels.Australia has previously avoided E10 as an alternative fuel. Many people choose to not use ethanol to avoid the possible damage it can do to engines not designed for it. That is; the deterioration of rubber and plastic components in the fuel system. Also redesigning car engines are expensive, however newer cars are E10 ready.Since 2006 Australian car fuel E10, is being increasingly used in cars following government legislation allowing it. Since 1996, Ford has sold more than 1.6 million cars that can run of ethanol. This shows how car companies have realised the potential ethanol has as a car fuel. Many new cars can be converted to run on E85 and the number of petrol stations that provide E85 and E10 is slowing increasing.Natural gas when used in vehicles creates less harmful emissions than petrol or diesel. Natural Gas needs to be stored at high pressure 3500 psi (compressed natural gas) and is only 30% as efficient as petrol. For this reason it is not suitable for normal cars, but is being trialled on busses and trucks as a diesel substitute. Electricity can be used as an alternative fuel for battery powered electric vehicles but at the moment batteries only give a limited range. Electric cars can be made into a very efficient Hybrid that increases range. The cost of electricity and the carbon cost to recharge batteries and replace used batteries makes this less attractive environmentally but it is a viable alternative from a fuel CO2 emissions point of view. Biodiesel fuel uses vegetable oils or...

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