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Ethanol Fuel: Alternative Fuel to Reduce Climate Changes

Hyundai Motorstudio Senayan Park 2022.08.19
Ethanol Fuel: Alternative Fuel to Reduce Climate Changes

Ethanol is a relatively affordable and less polluting fuel, it also has a greater source than gasoline. As an alternative fuel, ethanol is more eco-friendly compared to fossil fuels.

The carbon monoxide produced by ethanol is less harmful than the carbon dioxide produced by gasoline. In addition, ethanol is easier to find because it is a form of renewable energy. The raw material comes from the harvest which can help the economy.

What Is Ethanol Fuel?

Ethanol is a liquid alcohol made of oxygen, hydrogen, and carbon produced from the fermentation of sugar and fruit or vegetable and plant products. Depending on the availability of crops, the majority of ethanol is produced from corn and wheat.

Ethanol fuel can be produced in different applications, not just fermentation. Research to produce ethanol from non-food materials is growing, and is now close to being commercialized.

For fuel, ethanol will go through a distillation process and be dehydrated to produce high octane. Water must be removed because it cannot be burned. As a fuel, ethanol is unfit for drinking because several chemical elements have been added.

For now, the use of ethanol is still mixed with gasoline to trigger combustion. A mixture of ethanol and gasoline can be used to start a car that uses gasoline.

The majority of gasoline-powered cars can run on a 10% ethanol blend. But some of the newest cars can operate on 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline. Gasoline with a concentration of 15% is needed because ethanol is difficult to burn in cold temperatures.

However, 85% ethanol (E85) cannot be used in gasoline-fueled cars, while cars powered by ethanol can operate on gasoline. For now, there are only several cars powered by ethanol, and the availability of ethanol fuel stations is rare.

Advantages of Ethanol

Overall, ethanol is considered better for the environment than gasoline. Like other alternative fuels, ethanol offers many advantages over fossil fuels in the form of:

1. Eco-Friendly

Ethanol is considered better than fossil fuels because of low emissions. E85 has fewer volatile components than gasoline. So, there is only a small amount of emission when evaporation occurs.

Even adding 10% ethanol (E10) in gasoline can lower carbon emissions and increase octane rating. Since the majority of ethanol is produced from food, it can reduce the environmental damage caused by extracting crude oil from the earth.

2. Create New Jobs

Ethanol production can open up many jobs, especially for agriculture and plantations. This is because the raw material for ethanol is mostly coming from food.

Because most ethanol is produced domestically, taken from domestic crops, it can avoid the dependence on crude oil from abroad. Producing ethanol or other alternative fuels can create new jobs so the purchasing power will increase.

In comparison, ethanol production in 2020 provided 62,000 new jobs, added $35 billion to GDP, and 19 billion of household income.

3. Reduce Gas Emissions

Ethanol is a renewable fuel because it is produced from biomass so it doesn't leave a residue when burned in the combustion system. Ethanol fuels can reduce 40% greenhouse gas emissions because wheat or other feedstocks for making ethanol absorb the carbon as it grows.

The reduction process will depend on the type of raw material used. Although the process of converting biomass to ethanol may trigger emissions, it will not be as big as fossil. Ethanol from corn produces only 3% of greenhouse gasses compared to gasoline, while wood and garden waste produce 6%.

4. Safety and Performance

Ethanol is not as dangerous as gasoline and other fuels, even the E10 is not significantly increasing the performance. The impact of fuel efficiency will differ depending on the composition of the ethanol used.

The E85 has 27% less power than gasoline, but its environmental impact is increased compared to the E10. Moreover, the majority of vehicles today are designed to use gasoline. As the car is optimized for ethanol fuel, the car's performance also increases.

Ethanol has a higher octane rating than gasoline, meaning it can provide more power and performance. The current car engine configuration is still devoted to gasoline, so ethanol fuel is functioned to protect the environment, not to improve the car's performance.

However, ethanol is superior because it can increase the efficiency of the combustion system by up to 2% compared to gasoline.

5. Social and Economic

Ethanol contributes to economic growth, especially for people who depend on agricultural products. There is great economic potential for producing ethanol since the industry has the potential to create high value markets.

It has high profit because the raw materials are taken from fruit and vegetable waste, as well as plantations or agriculture. The production of ethanol on a large scale presents more opportunities. Large volumes of distilled wheat and high protein feedstuffs are by-products from wheat.

Since the development of ethanol for commercial purposes is still continuing, this can be a source of income. Simply put, when economic conditions improve, social welfare will increase.