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Ethanol As An Alternative
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Ethanol fuel is changing our lives and changing the economy in ways no one anticipated before, with energy costs rising every day, there has been an increased interest in ethanol fuel. Ethanol is a variety of alcohol that can be produced in a natural fashion, similar to the way in which alcoholic beverages are produced. Ethanol can be used by itself in some specially designed vehicles, but it can also be used as a fuel additive, stretching traditional fuels in times of economic or environmental hardship. Ethanol is used today by more people ever before, simply because of the cheap alternative to the soaring gas prices.
Using ethanol fuel as an alternative to gas does require motorists to get a special ethanol kit and install it in their cars, but since gas prices have been unstable in the last years many people feel that making that kind of investment will prove financially profitable in the future.
Ethanol fuel that is derived from crops has advantages over traditional fossil fuels. The ethanol fuel is obtained from the sugars and starches in crops like corn and grains. It also burns cleaner than petroleum based fuels due to its chemical composition, alleviating some of the strain placed on the environment by exhaust emissions. The increased consumption of corn for ethanol use has already started to affect the corn farms projections of yearly crops.
Blended ethanol fuel has proven to be an effective source of energy for several parts of the country, as well as other parts of the globe. E10 is a typical mixture. It is common in the Midwestern United States. Many other countries around the world start to consider using ethanol instead of regular fuel, Denmark for example, has also begun using this type of ethanol fuel. It appears to be doing well, though its use is not as extensive as many of its proponents had hoped it would be. There is still a long way for ethanol to become a natural option for fuel, the United States had used ethanol fuel for less than one percent of its gasoline needs in the year 2002.
The other big issue surrounding ethanol is the environmental issue, it is still not absolutely clear that ethanol is in fact environment friendly, and whether the environmental aspects of ethanol fuel are as good as they have been previously described by the supporters of ethanol fuel use. The growing concern is that while the use of ethanol by itself may be good for the environment, the resources and work done to provide the production of the ethanol could be potentially dangerous for the forests, rainforests and areas where the corn and other ethanol producing resources are being grown. While it is true that the fuel can be made from renewable resources there is evidence that some rainforests are actually being cleared to make space for crops that are used in the production of ethanol. As the controversy regarding the production of ethanol and its dangers, it is very clear that this alternative source of energy is becoming more and more popular.
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