Why ethanol is not the solution to our energy needs.
For one thing it does not produce as much energy as gasoline. Per the US Department of Energy, “Ethanol contains less energy per gallon than gasoline, to varying degrees, depending on the volume percentage of ethanol in the blend. Denatured ethanol (98% ethanol) contains about 30% less energy than gasoline per gallon.” Thus per Cars.com, “A gallon of E10 has 96.7 percent of the energy in one gallon of gasoline, according to the DOE’s Alternative Fuels Data Center. That means E10 gas fractionally lowers real-world gas mileage. How much? Try about 3 percent compared to non-ethanol gas, said Toyota Senior Energy Researcher Mike McCarthy and Ford powertrain spokesman Paul Seredynski. AAA’s Green and the EPA both pegged the E10 loss between 3 and 4 percent. That means a car that sports a 30 mpg EPA combined figure is already hampered from achieving that miles-per-gallon number.” E10 is a 10% ethanol mixture in a gallon of gas that you purchase as a consumer.
Another problem is that, “we use more energy to make ethanol than the ethanol will produce. This reminds me about the United States penny. We use something that holds a value of $0.01 but it costs $2.41 to produce a penny. What I do not understand is with a tax break being issued for ethanol we set a minimum value on corn. Which increases the cost of corn for food production.” Of course you have to know that it would be better to use sugarcane. Per California Ethonal + Power, “sugarcane ethanol production has location advantages, will have lower feedstock costs, premium ethanol prices and higher co-product value and will use much less water than conventional corn-based ethanol plants, whether in the Midwest or California.” And I must make note of the fact that ethanol can be made from algae, a much better alternative.
While ethanol is a renewable resource, my problem with it is that making it just makes no real sense. Especially as electric vehicles are now becoming a realistic alternative for many drivers.
Here are some surprising facts, it takes “328 gallons of ethanol can be created from 1 acre of land.
So in 2011, with the total acreage of land used for corn puts the United States at a total of 23,845,600,000 gallons of ethanol in one year of 100% of all corn is put towards ethanol. If we changed over to E85 we could produce 27,422,440,000 gallons of E85 if there was no waste. In 2005, the United States consumed 386,000,000 gallons – a day. So if we used all of our corn towards creating E85 fuel, we would be self-sufficient, for 71 days.” This shows that producing ethanol from corn makes no sense, except from the farmer’s point of view. Ethanol is really a political solution that should go away as it is not a real-world solution.
To keep burning either a renewable resource such as ethanol or a non-renewable one, oil, just contributes in the long run to greenhouse gases and making our world a more polluted planet.
That is my opinion- Jumpin Jersey Mike