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Ethanol - Is Ethanol a Viable Energy Source?


For thousands of years, humans have been burning fossil fuels as an energy source. In the past, many government officials and average citizens were unaware or uninterested in learning about how these fuel sources cause harm to the environment. However, in recent years many are starting to take an interest in helping to reduce the damage to the environment and saving our natural resources. This has prompted scientists and other officials to search for alternative fuel sources. One fuel source they are considering is ethanol, an alternative fuel that can be extracted from plants and organic substances such as corn, wheat and paper. Should it be used? You decide.

There are several advantages to using ethanol as an alternative fuel source. Unlike fossil fuels such as coal and gasoline, ethanol is a renewable resource. More corn, wheat and sugarcane can be grown to replace the crops used for fuel production. In addition, burning of this alternative fuel source results in less dangerous emissions and greenhouse gases leading to better air quality. That is not all. With the development of this alternative fuel sources, hybrid vehicles can be created to run on both ethanol and gasoline, which will ultimately reduce harmful emissions. In addition, the acceleration and speed of your vehicle will not be reduced in any way. Finally, ethanol is a renewable fuel source that will help reduce the United State's dependency on foreign oil.

Despite the many advantages ethanol can provide, there are drawbacks associated with the alternative fuel source. Because the fuel is derived from plants such as corn, sugar and wheat, other products that require these plants will raise in cost. In addition, it is not cost effect when used as fuel because of its low energy content. When used as fuel source, ethanol is highly acidic. Because of this, you need a tank and engine that is highly resistant to damage and erosion. This fuel source can also harm your engine because it easily absorbs waster and dirt.

Is ethanol a viable fuel source? Yes it is. However, modifications need to be made to it in order for it to be an effective and embraced energy source. Although ethanol uses renewable resources, the prices of other products that use these renewable resources will increase. In addition, modifications need to be for it to be safely used in fuel tanks and engine. Once these modifications are made, more people will use the fuel source and more fueling stations will provide it.