negatives of ethanol

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Negatives of Ethanol

The past years have shown Americans just how addicted we are to foreign oil and the petroleum products that are made from it. From oil and plastics, to gasoline and cleaning products, many people are simply unaware of how many things that they use and consume every day are derived from this black gold that has caused wars and casualties in several different countries. As a result, many people are searching for a sustainable alternative to fossil fuels, and some have offered up ethanol, a corn based fuel, as the cleaner, domestic energy source that could solve our oil addition problems. However, many people are pointing to the negatives of ethanol as reason that the search for a renewable alternative isnít over yet.

If youíre not familiar with ethanol, you might be wondering how environmentalists and other renewable fuel advocates can be complaining about the negatives of ethanol. In most states, ethanol is not available as a pure fuel. Instead, it is sold as E85, which means that it is eighty-five percent ethanol and fifteen percent traditional gasoline. This fuel is made by fermenting and treating corn until it is able to be used as a combustion fuel in vehicles and homes.


Now, you might be thinking that a fuel that is made from corn is a great solution to our current fuel crises. Not only it is made from a plant, which must mean that it is cleaner than traditional fossil fuels, it can be produced domestically, which means that we wouldnít have to deal with the fickle prices handed down to us by foreign countries with which we are at war. However, the negatives of ethanol are actually more practical than you might think, and they have prevented the fuel from becoming a true success.

One of the biggest negatives of ethanol is an issue of accessibility. The main problem with this fuel alternative is that it canít be used in many of todayís car models. Even if you own a Flex Fuel Vehicle, which can go back and forth between gasoline and E85, the chances of their being an ethanol fueling station close to your house are pretty slim. This is a huge problem for many people. There is also the issue of price. While you might be willing to pay an extra fifty cents or so for a gallon of E85, you might not be willing to pay a dollar or more extra for a loaf of bread or bag of cornmeal.