why do we add ethanol to gasoline
How much ethanol is in gasoline, and how does it affect fuel economy? The U. S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates that in 2016, the
in the United States contained about 14. 4 billion gallons of, or about 10% of the total volume of finished motor gasoline consumption. Fuel ethanol contains a Pthat is added to ethanol to make fuel ethanol unfit for human consumption. Federal law requires that fuel ethanol contain at least 2% denaturant by volume, but the actual amount in fuel ethanol may be higher. Most of the gasoline now sold in the United States contains some ethanol. Most of ethanol blending into U. S. motor gasoline occurs to meet the requirements of the 1990 Clean Air Act (RFG Fuel) and the Renewable Fuel Standard set forth in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. The U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administers the requirements with the. There are three general categories of ethanol-gasoline blends: E10, E15, and E85. E10 is gasoline with 10% ethanol content. E15 is gasoline with 15% ethanol content, and Pis a fuel that may contain up to 85% fuel ethanol. The ethanol content of most of the motor gasoline sold in the United States does not exceed 10% by volume. Most of the motor gasoline with more than 10% fuel ethanol content is sold in the Midwest where mostPof ethanol production capacity is located.
Gasoline dispensing pumps generally indicate the fuel ethanol content of the gasoline. All gasoline engine vehicles can use E10. Currently, only Pand light-duty vehicles with a model year of 2001 or greater are, although some automakers have yet to approve the use of E15 in their vehicles. Flex-fuel vehicles can use any ethanol-gasoline blends up to E85. The energy content of ethanol is about 33% less than pure gasoline. The impact of fuel ethanol on vehicle fuel economy varies depending on the amount of denaturant that is added to the ethanol. The energy content of denaturant is about equal to the energy content of pure gasoline. In general, vehicle fuel economy may decrease by about 3% when using E10 relative to gasoline that does not contain fuel ethanol. Last updated: March 29, 2017 Ethanol is a relatively б that boasts less pollution and more availability, but compared to unblended gasoline, there are a number of benefits and drawbacks to this newer form of fuel. For environmental purposes, ethanol is less harmful than unblended gasoline as carbon monoxide production from ethanol fuel is significantly lower than that of gasoline engines, and ethanol is easier to source since it comes from processed corn, which means it also helps local farm and manufacturing economies.
However, setbacks of ethanol and other biofuels include the loss of vital farm land for industrial corn and soy growth rather than food crops. Also, biofuels aren t meant for all vehicles, especially older vehicles, so there is some resistance from the automotive industry to see biofuels on the markets, though many are adapting to low-emissions vehicle standards which require vehicles to use ethanol blends rather than unblended gasoline. Benefits of Ethanol: The Environment, the Economy, and Oil Dependence Overall, ethanol is considered to be better for the environment than gasoline, and ethanol-fueled vehicles produce lowerб б and the same or lower levels of hydrocarbon and oxides of nitrogen emissions. E85, a blend of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline, also has fewer volatile components than gasoline, which means fewer gas emissions from evaporation. Adding ethanol to gasoline in lower percentages, such as 10 percent ethanol and 90 percent gasoline (E10), reduces carbon monoxide emissions from the gasoline and improves fuel octane. Flexible fuel vehicles that can use E85 are widely available and come in many different styles from most major auto manufacturers. at a growing number of stations throughout the United States.
Flexible fuel vehicles have the advantage of being able to use E85, gasoline, or a combination of the two, giving drivers the flexibility to choose the fuel that is most readily available and best suited to their needs. Because ethanol is mostly a product of processed corn, ethanol production supports farmers and creates domestic jobs. And because ethanol is produced domestically, from domestically grown crops, it reduces U. S. dependence on foreign oil and increases the nationБs energy independence. Being able to grow ethanol-producing crops reduces the pressure to drill in environmentally-sensitive places like the North Slope of Alaska, the Arctic Ocean, and the Gulf of Mexico. It can replace the necessity of environmentally sensitive shale oil like that coming from the б and reduce the needs for the construction of new pipelines like. Ethanol and other biofuels are often promoted as clean and lower cost alternatives to gasoline, but the production and use of ethanol is not all positive. The major debate about corn and soy-based biofuels is the amount of land that the production takes away from food production, but also in that industrial corn and soy farming is harmful to the environment in a different way.
Growing corn for ethanol involves the use of large amounts of synthetic fertilizer and herbicide, and corn production, in general, is a frequent source of and ; also, the typical practices of industrial versus commercial and local food farmers are considered more environmentally hazardous. The challenge of growing enough crops to meet the demands of ethanol and biodiesel production is significant and, some say, insurmountable. According to some authorities, producingб б to enable their widespread adoption could mean converting most of the worldБs remaining forests and open spaces to farmland Б a sacrifice few people would be willing to make. БReplacing only five percent of the nationБs dieselб consumption with biodieselб would require diverting approximately 60 percent of todayБs soy crops toб biodiesel production,Б says Matthew Brown, an energy consultant and former energy program director at the National Conference of State Legislatures. In a 2005 study, Cornell University researcher David Pimental factored in the energy needed to grow crops and convert them to biofuels and concluded that producing ethanol from corn required 29 percent more energy than ethanol is capable of generating. for signing up.
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