ethanol as a fuel
ethanol as a fuel
ethanol as a fuel
ethanol as a fuel

Today , we ll explain how to use alcohol as fuel before that let’s know about what is ethanol , how ethanol being used as fuel. 

What is Ethanol ?

Ethanol, or ethyl alcohol, has the chemical formula C2H5OH. It is the same alcohol found in alcoholic beverages, but ethanol also makes an effective motor fuel. There have been decades of motor fuel application experience in the United States and other countries with ethanol.

see also : How to make alcohol ? | What Is Alcohol?  | Alcohol chemistry

How is Ethanol being used as fuel ?

Most ethanol used for fuel is being blended into gasoline at concentrations of 5 to 10 percent. In California, ethanol has replaced methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) as a gasoline component. More than 95 percent of the gasoline supplied in the state today contains 6 percent ethanol. There is a small but growing market for E85 fuel (85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline) for use in flexible fuel vehicles (FFVs), several million of which have been produced by U.S. automakers. But E85 is primarily found in the Midwest in corn-producing states. Ethanol is also being used to formulate a blend with diesel fuel, known as “E-Diesel”, and as a replacement for leaded aviation gasoline in small aircraft.

How and where is ethanol produced ?

Today’s expanding fuel ethanol industry in the United States uses mostly corn as its basic ingredient. It is processed via fermentation and distillation to produce ethanol, animal feed, and other by-products. Midwestern states, including Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota and Nebraska are the largest ethanol-producing states; however, there is some ethanol production in 20 states.

California in 2004 had two small ethanol producers, Parallel Products in Rancho Cucamonga and Golden Cheese in Corona, both of which make ethanol from food and beverage industry residuals. Several new, larger projects are underway to produce ethanol from corn.

Brazil is the world’s top ethanol producer, using sugar cane as the feedstock. Vehicles in that country have been using 100 percent ethanol for decades.

What are the Economics  of producing Ethanol ?

The cost of producing ethanol remains significantly higher than the cost of producing fuels from petroleum. The federal government, since 1978, has given tax incentives intended to make ethanol competitive with gasoline in the motor fuel marketplace. Continued progress with both conventional and advanced ethanol production technologies could someday result in ethanol production costs competitive with petroleum fuels.

see also : How to make alcohol ? | What Is Alcohol?  | Alcohol chemistry

Advantages and Disadvantages of Ethanol as a Fuel :


Advantages Disadvantages
  • Unlike petroleum, ethanol is a renewable resource
  • Ethanol burns more cleanly in air than petroleum, producing less carbon (soot) and carbon monoxide
  • The use of ethanol as opposed to petroleum could reduce carbon dioxide emissions, provided that a renewable energy resource was used to produce crops required to obtain ethanol and to distil fermented ethanol
  • Ethanol has a lower heat of combustion (per mole, per unit of volume, and per unit of mass) that petroleum
  • Large amounts of arable land are required to produce the crops required to obtain ethanol, leading to problems such as soil erosion, deforestation, fertiliser run-off and salinity
  • Major environmental problems would arise out of the disposal of waste fermentation liquors.
  • Typical current engines would require modification to use high concentrations of ethanol





By Dhruval Patel

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