What is Ethanol? Ethanol, which is sometimes called ethyl alcohol, pure alcohol, or grain alcohol is defined as, “a high octane, clean burning, American- made renewable fuels.” Ethanol is an increasing important aspect of our society and its popularity is becoming more widespread on a daily basis. Ethanol, a substance made out of Sugar-cane, maize, sorghum, wheat , and other grains, has become one of the main viable source of energy in the world. In countries like South Africa and Brazil, fuel contains around 24 percent ethanol (much of it 100 percent), 76 percent gasoline. In the United States, in most service stations, fuel is blended 10 percent ethanol, 90 percent gasoline. The record of oil prices worldwide is extremely high. Even thought the production and consumption of ethanol in the United States have increase, the oil market prices still very high. One of the solutions to this problem is to increase of blending of ethanol with gasoline, just like in Brazil. According to thefreedictionary.com ethanol is “ An alcohol obtained from the fermentation of sugars and starches or by chemical synthesis. It is the intoxicating ingredient of alcoholic beverages, and is also used as a solvent, in explosives, and as an additive to or replacement for petroleum-based fuels.” Brazil being one of the only countries really exploring ethanol has limited if not cut off its dependency on oil. It cost less to produce ethanol and it is also cleaner for our environment. Beginning in the 1970’s every gas station in Brazil was required to have at least one ethanol pump and the government mandated that all gasoline be mixed with ethanol. This new discovery has also led to a new type of car called, a “flex vehicle”. It gives the driver the option of either using gasoline and ethanol blend or 100 % percent ethanol. Today 70% of all cars sold in Brazil are flex vehicles. They cost about the same as a regular car. Ethanol is cleaner, cheaper and better for the environment and us as humans. Ethanol is higher in power-producing octane than most gasoline and can reduce tailpipe emissions of carbon monoxide and harmful particulates The production of ethanol is growing at a rapid rate since the production in the 1980’s. There are approximately 180 ethanol production facilities in the US and this number does not account for the 20 that are currently under manufacture. Ethanol is many times combined with unleaded gasoline and can be a blend of E10, E20, E30, E40 or E85. The most common blends are E10 and E85. E10 is made up of 10% ethanol and 90% unleaded gasoline. Approximately 70% of gasoline we use in our vehicles are the mixture of E10 because it has pure burning characteristics. E85 is a mixture of 85% ethanol and 15% unleaded gasoline and can be used for flexible fuel vehicles (FFVs). Throughout the decade, the use of ethanol has become very important and over the past decade, many farmers, businessmen and investors have joined the advancements in the production ethanol. The USDA believes that the new production of oil will create a revenue of about 2 to 4 billion dollars for farmers by the year 2012. There have been several studies that have been conducted and they all prove that the price of corn has increased 5-10 per bushels if the farm was placed near an area of an ethanol plant. Corn is the primary ingredient in the production of ethanol and it can also be used in other products such as, wheat, barley, sugar cane, beets, cheese, potatoes (etc). Ethanol can also be manufactured in a dry- mills and wet- mills (which were more common when ethanol was first produced). The ethanol that is created is the United States displaces the need for crude oil that we would need from other countries. This would lead our country to gain more independence which is needed in a time where our economy needs to consume all its valuable resources. The Energy Information Administration...
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