This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

The Pros And Cons Of Ethanol

3453 words - 14 pages

A large part of the alternative fuels boom has been a part of civilization for thousands of years: ethanol. The same substance that makes alcoholic beverages intoxicating is also a useful fuel. Ethanol’s potential as a motor fuel has been known since the first internal combustion engines were made; The Ford Model T was able to run on gasoline, ethanol or any mix of the two (Bettelheim 802).
As the use of automobiles grew from the 1900's to the 1920's, it was found that petroleum was a cheaper fuel source than ethanol (Bettelheim 802). Ethanol was mixed with gasoline to improve the fuel's octane rating until the 1920's, when oil companies stopped using it because fear of being labeled as bootleggers. Ethanol had a brief resurgence during World War II, after which it was not used as fuel until the 1970's, when the OPEC oil embargoes highlighted the need for alternatives to imported oil (805). This was the driving factor in the development of ethanol as an alternative to gasoline.
The use of ethanol has greatly increased due to the banning of toxic additives to gasoline. Lead improved the octane rating of gasoline, but its use as an additive was banned due to its toxicity (Runge 1). Another chemical that improves the burning of gasoline is MTBE. It has been banned in many areas of the US over the past five years and ethanol is now used instead (Yacobucci 7).
While the banning of MTBE and lead has been one driving force of the growing demand for ethanol since the 1970's, a piece of legislation that was implemented in 2005 is set to drive demand even higher. The Clean Air Act of 2005 set a yearly minimum amount of ethanol that must be blended with gasoline in the US, called the Renewable Fuel Standard (Yacobucci 18). President Bush expanded this act in 2007 with the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, raising the yearly minimums even higher. The 2007 Energy Act also adds a requirement that a portion of the RFS is met with biofuels other than ethanol from corn starch. The amount mandated for 2006 is four billion gallons of corn ethanol, and this will gradually expand to thirty-six billion gallons in 2022, of which twenty-one billion gallons must be from sources other than corn starch (19). To provide a basis for comparison, in 2004 about 136 billion gallons of gasoline were consumed in the US and about two billion gallons of ethanol (Yacobucci 8).
Ethanol is mainly consumed in two forms in the US. Most ethanol sold in the US is in a mix of 10% ethanol and 90% gasoline called E10 (Yacobucci 8). Any car is able to run on this, and it is currently being sold in much of the country. The ethanol works as an additive to help the gasoline burn more cleanly, improves performance, and provides energy as a fuel. The other less common form is E85, which contains 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline. Modern cars must be specially designed to run on E85. Many newer models of cars are designed as such, and these are called flex-fuel...

Find Another Essay On The Pros and Cons of Ethanol

The Pros and Cons of Imperialism

531 words - 2 pages hand, the new imperialism was the period between the years “1870-1914”, where Europe became more focused on expanding their land into Asia and Africa. Imperialism had many pros and cons. In addition, it also had many causes led by the feeling of nationalism. Several significant causes led to the rise of imperialism in Europe. Economy played a role in the rise. For instance, many nations demanded more natural resource that they did not have on

Pros and cons of the promotional mix

972 words - 4 pages which is advertising, personnel selling, sales promotion and public relations tools. No matter how good a strategy or a plan is perform; advantage and disadvantage are surely to exist. The main purpose of conducting this literature review is to precisely identify the advantages and disadvantages of the four elements. One of the most popular promotional elements that company usually us is the advertising, but before we look into the pros and cons

The Pros and Cons of Gay Marriage

1346 words - 5 pages part in the gay marriage legalization process. Same-sex marriage is a major controversial issue in the United States; specific examples would be the views of Americans, pros and cons of same-sex marriage, and the reality of it in the United States. The views of Americans are extremely different from one another. The people of America have many different opinions about gay marriage. In 1996, 27 percent of United States citizens approved of

The pros and cons of immigration

1400 words - 6 pages American Society 2013/2014 Zuzana Ďuržová Mid-Term Essay - The pros and cons of immigration Immigration is the movement of people between countries. People are moving from their home country to search for better opportunities, career or education a chance for better life. People are looking for business opportunities, experience, or may have personal reasons such as family or marriage. If I we are talking about positive and negative aspects

The Pros and Cons of Genetic Engineering

820 words - 3 pages to create the perfect race, was dolly the sheep just a stepping stone to improved biological weapons. Genetic engineering seems to have the pros and cons, but the cons are basically assuming the worst or are being used for the destruction of mankind, rather than the saving of mankind. The reduction of the gene pool also seems to be a huge risk to take. If recessive genes are erased from an organism, then the gene pool will be reduced resulting

The Pros and Cons of Standardized Testing

1348 words - 6 pages pressure to the educators and the students. The added pressure can cause health problems with the students or the educators. If health problem come from the stress of the tests it could negatively affect the student’s ability to learn (Pros and Cons, 2013). The test itself is a problem as well. The test is supposed to be unbiased based on the grade level but in most cases the test is not. As much as they try the people that produce the test may

The Pros and Cons of Capital Punishment

906 words - 4 pages The Pros and Cons of Capital Punishment Since the mid 1900’s, capital punishment has brought many individuals into many diverse view points throughout the years. Capital punishment is a way of punishing a convict by killing him or her because of the crime he or she committed. Capital punishment will always have its pros and cons. There are opponents who absolutely disagree with capital punishment. And then there are advocates who

Pros and Cons of the Industrial Revolution

1345 words - 6 pages been treated very poorly. Not only that the amount shillings they make, barely makes a difference for their family to survive. Urbanization has increased between the times of 1800’s and the 1850’s, as urbanization increase there is more numbers of population and many diseases. But the industrial revolution also had its pros, like for example the increase number of new technology. The Spinning Jenny which helps weaves and thread garnet together

Pros and Cons of the Washing Machine

1123 words - 4 pages more pros than cons or vice versa, but conducting research is always helpful when deciding. Washing machines have truly changed how many live their lives today. “Every year, everyday, the heavy work of the house wife becomes a little easier” ( Pantzar 11). Washing machines are one of the most popular household devices in many cases. Relieving labor, allowing more time, and customizing the washing machine are all amenities of the washing machine

The Pros and Cons of Free Music

1286 words - 5 pages of your and. Now it’s up to the record labels and artist to not be greedy and let the music be free. Works Cited Castle, Frank. Pros & Cons of Free Music. Article Alley. 10th January 2011. Web. 10th January 2014. Flores, Homer. Personal Interview. 20 January 2014. Oak, Manali. Pros & Cons of Downloading Music. Buzzle. 30th August 2008. Web. 10th January 2014. Rodriguez, Vivian. Personal Interview. 20 January 2014. Sanchez, Chenzo. Personal Interview. 20 January 2014.

The Pros and Cons of Hydropower

2220 words - 9 pages . & Weir, D. A. (1986). Renewable energy resources. London, Great Britain: E. & F.N.Spoon Ltd. Water projects. (n.d). Pros and cons. Retrieved from Ricky (2008, Sept 13). Components of Nuclear Power Plant – Control Rods. Retrieved from Delgano, A. (2009, Feb

Similar Essays

The Pros And Cons Of Ethanol As A Renewable Source Of Energy

5969 words - 24 pages opponents have something at stake, bias and manipulation of science are going nowhere. It is my heartfelt wish that you will read into the presentations of ethanol pros and cons and emerge with the same scientifically grounded ethic as I have: that we have an obligation to fulfill. Despite smoke, smog, haze, global warming, and particulate matter floating around us, the convenience of energy from fossil fuels has always outweighed the cost

The Pros And Cons Of The Internet

1219 words - 5 pages The computer has had a tremendous impact on society as we know it. It gives a voice to those who cannot speak and those who cannot breathe on their own receive mechanically computerized help. The computer has given us many wonderful things used for wonderful purposes, but there are vast ways in which these things have been misused by our people. One of these things is the internet and a common way it is misused is by way of plagiarism

The Pros And Cons Of Social Media

1719 words - 7 pages use of social media does not turn into social dysfunction. Works Cited Birnie, S. A. and Horvath, P. (2002), Psychological Predictors of Internet Social Communication. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication. Carey, Dachary. "Online Social Networking Pros and Cons." Life123. Web. 16 Feb. 2014. . "Conformity: The

The Pros And Cons Of Social Media

1082 words - 5 pages , and take advantage of others (The Pros and Cons). Additionally, there are a large number of children being harassed and stalked by online predators. “They target both boys and girls of all ages and use the anonymity of the internet to their advantage, since they can be whoever they want. Many are master manipulators with skills that can cripple any child’s sense of awareness (The facts About Online Predators).” Lastly, less face-to-face