Clean Vehicles, Clean Fuels, Clean Air, Clean Cities!

Ethanol

ethanolEthanol burns cleaner than gasoline; it is a completely renewable and domestic fuel that enhances the economy and energy independence of of the nation.

E85 is the term for motor fuel blends of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline.

Tests have shown that E85 vehicles reduce harmful hydrocarbon and benzene emissions when compared to vehicles running on gasoline. Although carbon dioxide is released during ethanol production and combustion, it is recaptured as a nutrient to the crops that are used in its production. Use of ethanol results in low increases to the carbon cycle.

Ethanol produced from corn has a positive energy balance, and it is predicted that the energy advantage of ethanol will increase with future innovations such as the commercialization of cellulosic ethanol production. For more on this issue, this summary of a 2005 study (PDF) by Michael Wang of Argonne National Laboratory or this presentation (PDF) given at a spring 2006 CACC seminar by Ye Wu, also of Argonne National Laboratory. Other authorities on the topic of the energy balance and sustainability of biofuels include Hosein Shapouri of the Office of the Chief Economist at USDA and John Sheehan at National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

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