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Will Ethanol Make the World Go Round?

By May 17, 2017Fact or Myth

Fact or Myth?

Ethanol can help decrease our dependency on Fossil Fuels

 

Biofuels are produced through agricultural methods versus archaic “Flinstone Age” geological deposits of coal and petroleum. Increased prices in gasoline has led to the search of alternative solutions for fossil fuels, and have raised awareness of corn ethanol.

Annual gas prices 1919-2011

Corn is the main source used in the production of ethanol, and there have been ongoing debates on whether corn based ethanol is beneficial to both our wallets and the environment.  Environmental scientists have calculated that demands for corn ethanol will adversely impact global warming effects through increased carbon emissions.

Factory farming of corn-based ethanol

Factory farming of corn-based ethanol will become a consequence to satisfy higher production of the crop resulting in higher uses of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, which will run off the fields and contaminate our global water supply.  Another factor to consider would be the water requirements necessary to nurture the growth of this alternative fuel source.

Many consumers believe that the production of ethanol will drive down fuel expenses, however the opposite may occur when taking into consideration the expansive costs in the refinement of corn-based ethanol.  Farmers will acquire a cash windfall, as the value of corn crops will inflate.  Feed for livestock and the production of corn for food supplies will be a future challenge, and “supply and demand” will impact food costs on all levels.

Using Corn to fill up the gas tanks may not be a good idea after all!

MYTH!

Ethanol does not help decrease our dependency on Fossil Fuels

The only terms of agreement at present is the realization that corn based ethanol will be costly to the environment as well as the consumer.  Ethanol is the same substances that keep our alcoholic beverages potent.  A toast to keeping ethanol in our drinks and out of our gas tanks!

References

https://biotechnologyforbiofuels.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13068-016-0661-4

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/bbb.1448/abstract

Corn-based Ethanol: The Real Cost

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