Ethanol for the Tank, Lower Prices at the Pump

Ethanol fuel is already here. Ethanol provides a viable alternative to rising Gasoline prices. In the U.S., ethanol is currently mixed with the Gasoline at the pump, offering higher octane value and a renewable supplement to Gas.
Currently, the automobile industry is producing vehicles capable of burning a product known as ‘E85’ which is a mixture of 85% Ethanol and Gasoline. The ability to burn 100% Ethanol is not far off, and there are many kits available online which claim to convert any Gas engine to burn pure Ethanol as well. Take caution, however, and refer to your automotive policies before converting as conversion could void your particular warranty.
Ethanol is a renewable fuel, which can be made from various feed stocks of plant matter. Current Ethanol production relies on Sugar cane and Corn stocks. The use of Corn has it’s controversies, primarily concerned about the impact on Corn based ethanol on food supply. Admittedly, this is an area of concern, and other non-food sources should be considered..
In Brazil, Ethanol makes up a large chunk of the Fuel Economy and it’s large Sugar Industry is making Brazil a major supplier of Global Ethanol.
Getting ready for Ethanol
Ethanol can be produced at home with the right materials, and there already exists many home-brewing kits for sale online. It is also encouraged by the Government with special cash incentives and tax breaks.
There is a company called ‘E-fuel’, and they are currently taking orders for a unique system which can be placed in the back-yard and produces Ethanol. Known as the ‘Micro-Fueler’, it is the size of 2 washing machines, comes with a station style hand pump, and can produce Ethanol at about $1.25/ Gallon when taking into account various sources of base materials and Government incentives. This system will produce ethanol from sugar and can also make Ethanol from waste alcohol. The machine can produce about 5 gallons of Ethanol a day. The company is currently accepting orders and expects shipments by the fourth quarter of 2008.
Current Ethanol Use

Currently, the ethanol formula in wide use in the United States is called ‘E-10’, which is a mixture of 10% Ethanol and 90% Gasoline. This mixture produces less C02 emissions, but more can be done. With car manufacturers making new technologies available and cars being designed to burn E-85 mixture, we are looking at a future getting closer to a goal- E-100.
Future of Ethanol

Using Ethanol fuel is a wise choice now and for the future. Ethanol can be produced cheap and in large quantities. Granted, more work is needed by auto industry to make vehicles attain higher miles per gallon, but action is also required by the individual. Ethanol offers a solution that the homeowner can also invest in, thus allowing people access to their own renewable source of Ethanol. Government incentives are already in place to encourage the switch. Action combined on all these fronts will go a long way to lowering prices of oil due to decreased demand.
Food supply issues should be considered in ethanol use. There are solutions which do not affect food supply and more investment is needed. Ethanol is easy to make. It is made from sugar, and the planet offers many renewable sources for Ethanol production.
We need to pursue a ‘green’ future, and Ethanol is one step in the right direction.

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