Ethanol: WORSE For The Environment???

From SevenDays

Truth or Consequences Rather than reducing pollution, ethanol could make it worse, according to researcher Mark Jacobson of Stanford University. Reporting in Environmental Science & Technology, Jacobson found that ethanol-burning cars emit fewer carcinogens such as benzene and butadiene, but they give off 20 times as much acetaldehyde as conventional fuels. Acetaldehyde reacts with sunlight to form ozone, a main ingredient of smog. “There are so many people barking pretty loud about biofuels,” Jacobson told New Scientist. “They’ve been pushing these things before the science is done.”

Think we’ll see this in the mainstream media?  Doubtful.


4 thoughts on “Ethanol: WORSE For The Environment???

  1. Absolutely.

    1) Ethanol, because it’s an alcohol, binds with water, which renders it useless as a fuel….so it can’t be transported in long-distance pipelines, which always contain some water (from condensation in the air inside them). Thus, it has to be trucked from location to location.

    2) Most of the places in which corn can be grown require irrigation to maximize yields…..which drains groundwater and surface water and sends runoff, contaminated with fertilizer and dirt, back into these water sources.

    If we want to go the most ecologically-sound route for transportation energy, the plug-in hybrid with a backup gas or ethanol engine for long-range or emergency duty is the best, in my opinion; while it’s true that power plants do pollute, it is far easier to control and manage pollution when it’s coming from a single spot. In addition, we can do pleasant things like nuclear or very clean-burning natural gas in power plants that is impossible to do on an individual scale (“Mr. Fusion” notwithstanding).

  2. That’s just the beginning of the problems with ethanol . Here is a good summary. But mention that around here (the midwest; where you can’t turn around without bumping into a new ethanol plant) and you’ll get nothing but dirty looks and outright hostility.

  3. I read an article in Rolling Stone magazine in which the author outlined many of the same problems mentioned here. It also mentioned about producing other non-food crops for the purpose of ethanol that would be more efficient, but still nowhere good enough as an alternative source.

    I would support producing more ethanol and drilling more domestic oil as a temporary measure until a more efficient and evironmentally suitable energy sources become available and more feasible.

    I firmly believe that the best way to combat terrorism is by reducing dependence of foreign oil.

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