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Reducing Fuel Costs: Is Ethanol the Right Solution?

Aug 9, 2008
There has been so much hype over ethanol. In the last year alone, there has been a 60% increase in the number of gas pumps offering this gasoline alternative. So, is ethanol the answer to ballooning fuel costs? Find a list of Ethanol Pros and Cons below and decide for yourself.

Pros

A SIZEABLE PRICE DIFFERENCE - It is true, Ethanol mix is indeed much cheaper than pure gasoline. You can save around 20 - 30 cents when you use ethanol instead of gasoline. That can add up, especially if you are driving a 17 gallon SUV that eats fuel up like crazy.

A DECREASE IN CARBON MONOXIDE CAR EMISSIONS - Another good thing about using ethanol instead of pure gasoline is the fact that ethanol decreases carbon monoxide emissions. When you use ethanol mix instead of gasoline you are decreasing your car's greenhouse gas emissions by 30%.

LOCALLY MANUFACTURED - The biggest selling point of ethanol is the fact that it can be grown and manufactured within the country. Now, there is no need to buy staggering amounts of fuel from foreign countries just to keep your car running.

Cons

Mind you, ethanol isn't as pristine as their manufacturers would have you believe. Sure, it is much easier on the environment compared to gasoline. But, it still contributes to greenhouse gases in one way or another. For now, Ethanol seems like a great alternative to rising Fuel Costs, but dependence on it should not be developed. Some issues regarding the use of Ethanol to counter the rising Fuel Costs are found below.

WORLD HUNGER FOR WORLD FUEL - Most of today's ethanol is produced from farm raised corn. It means that more and more farmers are now growing corn for fuel instead for food. That presents a very real threat to world nutrition. In fact, the nightmare has already begun. Hispanic countries have rallied on their streets demanding a decrease in the price of the food staple. Is the world really willing to forgo feeding its people just so its cars can run? Hopefully, not!

UNCONVIENTLY TRANSPORTED - Unlike gasoline, Ethanol cannot be transported through pipe line. Its chemical composition makes iy Hydrophilic (attracts water to itself). And ethanol mixed with water is virtually useless. That is why ethanol has to be transported by trucks. That means more fuel is used even before ethanol gets to a pumping station.

CARS DON'T RUN ON ETHANOL ALONE - Ethanol alone doesn't have enough energy to be an efficient fuel source. It needs to be mixed with Gasoline. That means that Ethanol doesn't necessarily rid the world of her dependence on gasoline. It just decreases it. With the rising price of gasoline, soon even the angelic Ethanol will be too expensive.

Other Answers to the Fuel Cost Crisis

The hype over Ethanol has effectively overshadowed other more worthy fuel saving wonders. Hybrid cars for instance, they are a great answer to the rising cost of fuel. You can go for miles on end without having to fill up every now and again. Then there are Electric Cars and Zero-Emission Vehicles that can run without hurting the environment. What about those solutions? Maybe it's time fuel companies focus on those solutions more and put ethanol to bed - before it gets out of hand.
About the Author
If you are wanting to by a Satellite Navigation for your car then Benedict recommends 1st4-gps.co.uk. For anything tech related including GPS Sat Nav, Speakers, in-car entertainments then Benedict recommends 1st4-tech.co.uk
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