Jamie's Blog

Thursday, April 19, 2007

E85 causes more smog than gasoline

The big news today is that Ethanol based fuels may actually be just as bad for the environment and for public health as Gasoline. In fact, Ethanol can even increase smog in some areas of the country. Ethanol is a plant, usually corn, based fuel that can be produced locally in our country. E85 is the most commonly used type of ethanol fuel.
This is really bad news for the alternative fuel crowd, because E85 has been pushed recently as a viable alternative to Gasoline. It seems that while certain chemicals and pollutants that Gasoline produces are reduced or not present when burning ethanol based fuels, others that are just as bad are increased.
I'm all for reducing our dependence on foreign oil, and for finding better fuels that don't pollute the environment. But we really need to be smart about it. There are a lot of possible alternatives to Gasoline. Any alternative that we push, should be evaluated and properly studied to make sure that the alternative is actually better than the current system(Gasoline). Especially if the alternative is going to be more expensive than Gasoline.

Via Wired: Ethanol Fuel Greener, But Not For Lungs
And LiveScience: Surprise: Ethanol as Deadly as Gasoline For Now
Stanford Study this is all based on: Effects of Ethanol (E85) Versus Gasoline Vehicles on Cancer
and Mortality in the United States
(PDF format)

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