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A Look At E85 Fuel

Mar 6, 2008
Among the desperate and ridiculously expensive attempts to find a new fuel for the future, lays a green fuel that has been around for decades. This liquid is called ethanol and has already been mixed with a small amount of gasoline (15% gasoline to be exact) to create the fuel called E85. Ethanol is nothing new, in fact, at a chemical level it is exactly the same to grain alcohol, the same alcohol that is illegal to consume in an open container while driving. What makes E85 so special is its efficiency compared to standard gasoline. E85 increases gas mileage, has roughly 80% fewer carbon emissions, eliminates the emissions of acid rain creating toxins, and on top of all that can be harvested and created from such a wide variety of sources. Ethanol can be extracted from sources such as prairie switch grass, wood chips, corn husks, and soy. So now you know about E85, but what you might not know is that over five million cars and trucks are already outfitted to handle this fuel. Vehicles such as Explorers, Tauruses, Stratuses, Suburbans, and other vehicles are equipped to fuel up right this minute. The technology is called flex-fuel and has been around for several years now. The only problem now is that the fuel is virtually non-existent and extremely hard to find. There are roughly 170,000 gas stations in the United States and less than 1000 carry the E85 fuel.

The complete change over from standard gasoline to E85 is not going to be happening overnight. E85 is slightly more corrosive to contain than gasoline, so service stations would have to retrofit certain tanks to contain the fuel, and more refineries would have to start opening soon to create ethanol. The current ethanol production stands at less than five percent of what it would take to wean the United States off of imported oil that has been costing the economy so much.

Ethanol is not new. In fact, Henry Ford's early cars ran off of ethanol. The major change in the price is the fact that there is very little infrastructure to produce it. Despite the advantages of numerous sources of ethanol, there are not enough refineries to turn the plethora of material into usable ethanol. Slowly angel investors, including Bill Gates, have been investing in the future production of ethanol by funding new refineries. Once these production plants are in place, it is up to an oil enthralled country to change their perspective on green fuel and take the necessary measures to support the growth of the fuel that can increase efficiency, save money, and take drastic measures in cutting down harmful emissions that are plaguing the planet.

Whether you fill up with Ethanol or Unleaded, try and remember that you're doing the world a favor when you go the Ethanol route. Even if you don't care about the environment today, think of the future of America and what each person can do for it. If we're in this together, we can make a difference for the future. Every person counts.
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