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A Great Alternative Energy Source

Essay by   •  February 15, 2011  •  Research Paper  •  941 Words (4 Pages)  •  2,057 Views

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A Great Alternative Energy Source

Prices at the pump seem to be increasing over the years. This is mostly noticeable during the summer months where gas prices are at their highest due to increased gas consumption during the summer. A few different companies are experimenting with different forms of alternative energy, such as Biodiesel which is derived from vegetable oils and animal fats. It usually produces less air pollutants than petroleum-based diesel. There are also experimental solar powered vehicles and hydrogen powered vehicles from companies such as BMW and Honda.

Currently in production there are two different vehicles that are practical. They are Hybrid Vehicles that run on electricity and gasoline, and FFV, also known as Flex Fuel Vehicles, which run on regular unleaded fuel and E85. In this proposal paper, I suggest the increase in use of E85 in the U.S.

According to "Ethanol is an alcohol-based alternative fuel produced by fermenting and distilling starch crops that have been converted into simple sugars. Feedstocks for this fuel include corn, barley, and wheat. Ethanol can also be produced from cellulosic biomass such as trees and grasses and is called bioethanol." Sugarcane can also be used in the production of ethanol which is the case in Brazil. They are one of the larger ethanol producers in the world. E85 is composed of 85% ethanol and 15% unleaded gasoline. Due to its high content of ethanol which is a renewable resource, there are several positive reasons to increase its use.

The first reason we should increase the use of ethanol is because it will help decrease our dependency on imported oil and all that entails. According to "the 7.5 billion gallon ethanol production level in the recently enacted Renewable Fuels Standard" which is a government act, "could reduce oil consumption by 80,000 barrels per day." That would be a significant decrease in our oil consumption and that could affect our interaction with foreign countries and our dependency of their oil. Fossil fuel is not interminable, so it is in our best interest to use alternative sources of energy.

My second reason for proposing to increase the use of E85 is there are many environmental advantages to using E85. E85 has the highest oxygen content of any fuel currently available thus helping it burn more cleanly and efficiently than other fuels. By doing so it helps reduce harmful hydrocarbon and green house gases which are talked about when people are discussing global warming and smog forming gases. It is believed that global warming could have catastrophic effects such as melting polar ice caps and increased air pollution. Possible examples of this can be seen in movies such as "An Inconvenient Truth" of "The Day After Tomorrow", however credible or incredible portrayal the may make.

On it states "The American Lung Association of Metropolitan Chicago credits ethanol-blended fuel with reducing smog-forming emissions by 25% since 1990." This number was obtained from the use of gasoline that only contains 10% ethanol. If the use of E85 is increased, there would be even more of a significant decrease in all these harmful gases that have been linked to physical ailments in bigger metropolitan areas.

My last reason why I propose to increase the use of E85 is I am an automotive performance and auto sports enthusiast and who enjoys performance vehicles



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