A recent study from the Environmental
Science and Technology journal raises
some new concerns about ethanol-based E85 (85% ethanol, 15% gasoline) which
can be used in automobiles. The study finds that if much of the country's fuel
supply would switch from gasoline to E85, the number of deaths from respiratory
failure (due to ozone) in the United States would rise from 4,700 people a year
to nearly 4,900 per year.
"It's not green in terms of air pollution," said
study author Mark Jacobson, a Stanford University environmental engineering
professor and author of the study. "If you want to use ethanol, fine, but
don't do it based on health grounds. It's no better than gasoline, apparently
Jacobson used computer models to determine the effects of an
increased use of ethanol in automobiles and how they would impact air pollution.
The models determined than an increased reliance on E85 would result in
increased smog levels -- especially in Los Angeles and major cities in the
Jacobson contends that the increase in smog levels is due to
the fact that more hydrocarbons are released into the atmosphere from the
combustion of ethanol than from gasoline. Jacobson also notes that ethanol
produces less nitrogen oxide which most often is a positive side effect.
However, in smog-filled areas like Los Angeles the decreased nitrogen oxide
levels can be harmful to the atmosphere.
Matt Hartwig, a spokesman for the Renewable Fuels
Association, says that he respect's Jacobson's work but takes issues with some
of his findings and methodology. Hartwing notes that when using real-world data
instead of computer models "ethanol is a greener fuel than gasoline."
President Bush laid out plans earlier
this month for the United States to reduce its dependency on gasoline.
"We have laid out a plan that will affect greenhouse gases that come from
automobiles by having a mandatory fuel standard that insists on 35 -- using 35
billion gallons of alternative fuels by 2017, which will reduce our gasoline
uses by 20 percent and halt the growth in greenhouse gases that emanate from
automobiles," said President Bush.
Bush's plan would require that auto manufacturers dedicate
more of their resources into producing more E85-capable, hydrogen fuel-cell,
Brazil uses sugar cane as the
main component for ethanol used in automotive applications. Brazil is also
the largest producer of ethanol as a fuel and nearly half of the vehicles
running in the country are powered by ethanol. The United States uses corn
instead of sugar cane to produce E85 fuel. Less than 3 percent of new vehicles
available for purchase in the United States can run on E85.
quote: but cows are miserable creatures to work with.
quote: the study also forget to mention that increasing eth use drives up corn price
quote: Corn prices are still historically very high, and its due to ethanol demand.
quote: There have been five previous periods when corn futures exceeded $3.50 per bushel. Those were in 1974, 1980, 1983, 1988, and 1996. In contrast to this year, each of those was associated with a weather related short crop ...
quote: This year, we had a good harvest and still prices rose dramatically.
quote: ethanol production does result in a slight (about 35%) net energy increase
quote: Environmentally it's extremely poor since you're polluting twice (once for the energy to make the ethanol than again when you burn the ethanol), probably worse than gasoline from oil.
quote: A few millimeters/year sea level rise (about the same rate its been increasing for the past 7000 years, in fact
quote: in Sweden we use byproducts from our timber and paper industry to produce ethanol
quote: A recent study from the Environmental Science and Technology journal raises some new concerns about ethanol-based E85 (85% ethanol, 15% gasoline) which can be used in automobiles.
quote: Corn prices topped $4.00 per bushel earlier this year, the highest in 10 years....compared with about $2 in early 2005
quote: Did you know right now all car and I mean all can use E90. If you don't think so just stop at any Non-big oil gas station. That Sam club, BJ, Walmarts and even citco and ever last one of them sell 10% gas.
quote: Correct me if I'm wrong but shouldn't hydrogen be considered a transport (energy carrier). Not an alternative fuel itself.
quote: Hydrogen isn't a source of energy, no matter how you oxidize it. Its an energy carrier, the energy in it comes from the process which produces it.
quote: It came from CO2 that was in the air in the Earth's past...primarily from the Devonian on. A period in which CO2 levels were ten times or more higher than they are today...and yet life developed, and even thrived.
quote: > Utter rubbish.
quote: During the Medieval Warm Period a scant 600 years ago, the earth as warmer than it is today, and it was entirely beneficial to humanity.
quote: > "there are signs that we may be looking at a new...mass extinction."Utter rubbish.
quote: The issue is not that life on earth is going to end by global warming, or that the human species will be eradicated, as that is absurd. It's not that the earth will be irreparably damaged. Global warming scenarios mean potentially dramatic alterations to what we are familiar with.
quote: Global warming scenarios mean potentially dramatic alterations to what we are familiar with.
quote: mass extinction
quote: I for one believe that a little global warming is a good thing, as it may prevent another ice age from occurring in the future. Such a thing would be a much greater negative impact on human civilization than a small sea level rise.
quote: Ethanol is made from plants that take out the co2 from the air using it as their source of carbon.
quote: Such a simple concept.