Benefits of E10, E85 Ethanol Blend Renewable Fuels
All About Ethanol:
The Benefits of E10/E85
Unfortunately this article lists fewer positives than we would like - BECAUSE the negatives of E10 currently exceed the benefits for using E10 fuel.
We are all hopeful that with the passage of time and some necessary consumer protection laws, a little regulation, and an increase in consumer knowledge on how to properly manage ethanol-blend fuels, the "Ethanol Scare and Resistance" will become more manageable in the future.
Benefit 1:The most obvious benefit of ethanol-blend fuels is that it decrease could our dependence on foreign oil...If we could run our vehicles/engines on high levels 85-100% ethanol (E85), this benefit would be noticeable - Unfortunately since E10 (10% alcohol) results in about a 3-20% drop in mpg, our decrease in foreign oil use is minimal.
The increased production of Flex Fuel Vehicles (which use 85% ethanol blend fuel) since 2003, was encouraging, but after over 10 years we can conclude E85 use, which accounts for less than 2% of gas sold is a failure.
Most of the FFV's purchased here in the U.S. are still using only conventional and E10 gas.
On so many levels the hopefully good intentions of our government over the past 10 years in promoting ethanol, ignored the negative side effects increased ethanol production would cause. For example, several recent studies reveal that the ethanol plants have reached medically unacceptable levels of pollution (increased lung disease) in the vicinity near these plants. This is one serious obstacle we must overcome before we could encourage increased production/distribution of ethanol.
Of lesser concern but present is our inability to have adequate corn and grains to produce ethanol. Many have noticed this in the increased cost of corn and food.
Oops - this page is titled "benefits" and I've only listed "1" so far in the previous 4 paragraphs...Back to benefits...
Before I go on and on trying to add benefits without including the negative side,
I'd like to suggest a well written book instead, which somehow succeeded in listing ethanol fuel's benefits without revealing the many problems E10 fuel holds:Book Title: Alcohol Can Be a Gas! Fueling an Ethanol Revolution for the 21st Century by author David Blume. Published by: The International Institute for Ecological Agriculture, ISBN: 978-0-9790437-7-2.
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Benefit 2:Ethanol is an anti-freeze - Benefit to consumers in colder climates (ethanol-blend fuels will not freeze when air temperature below freezing.
Benefit 3: Studies on MTBE revealed it can cause cancer and groundwater consumption - Reason MTBE is now banned. A shame we had to replace MTBE with an ingredient that increases pollution and has caused a dramatic increase in incidence of lung disease in vicinity near these plants. Reminds me of when we replaced lead in gas, which caused neurological damage, with MTBE - Seems we're making the same mistake again.
Oops I'm discussing negative again...Back to benefits...
Benefit 4:Ethanol is a cleanser and solvent and keeps your engine "clean" - But this is only a benefit to some people who have used E10 since the engine was "new". For everyone else who switches to E10 in an older and dirty engine, this cleansing effect will cause engine malfunction and damage - Years of accumulated rust, sediment and gunk will be released from your engine and will clog filters and engine parts...
Ooops, sorry...I again turned a possible benefit into a negative...I'll give it another try to think of some benefits of ethanol fuels...
Benefit 5:The farming industry is booming now due to the need for increased production of corn and grains, used to produce ethanol.
Did I mention that farming industry equipment is exempt from using ethanol fuels?
They produce ethanol but refuse to use ethanol in their engines. Doesn't sound right to me...
One reason given for farm equipment E10 government exemption is because farmers correctly believe that ethanol fuel will decrease the useful life of their gas-powered equipment, which they expect to last for 20 or more years -
Too bad your average auto or boat owner wasn't given the same consideration to be able to receive exemption. Boaters are furious because they experience far greater problems with E10 than auto and other engines owners, since boats live in a water environment and ethanol attracts water into the fuel supply.
Benefit 6:Ethanol is safe for the environment. The ethanol used in fuel is the exact same ingredient as alcoholic beverages (beer, wine, whiskey) - Ethanol alone can be consumed and certainly will not pollute our landscape and waterways if accidentally spilled - But since as a fuel that contains petroleum and numerous other environmentally dangerous chemicals, this benefit would only be relevant if our fuel supply was E100 (100% ethanol / ethyl alcohol). The pollution caused by ethanol manufacturing plants, in addition to petroleum required to manufacturer and transport ethanol may actually harm the environment more than we realize.
Other benefits: I've tried really hard to think of a few more benefits of ethanol fuel use - but since they are minimal, compared to the dangers of ethanol, they seem almost not worth mentioning now.
Most of the other benefits involve increased profits and government financial incentives offered to those companies producing and selling ethanol gas.
Ethanol has also proved to be very profitable for the fuel additive industry - those companies selling products with claims that they can "fix" or protect fuel, which contains ethanol. Warning: Many of these new "ethanol fuel fixing" products in this category deceptively make claims that water contaminated gas can be restored - It can't. Also several of these products marketed to consumers for protection against ethanol, actually contain alcohol in them!
It's unfortunate that your average consumer does not receive any of the "benefits" when purchasing and using ethanol gas; Actually using E10 is causing great financial hardship to the public - primarily due to repair costs (engine side effects of ethanol fuel) and due to the expected decrease in the life expectancy of their gas-powered engines.
My opinion:While the EPA and U.S. government intended for increased distribution of ethanol fuels to be advantageous, the results have been very disappointing. Fortunately there are several other safer renewable and reformulated fuels, expected to be introduced in the future, such as biofuels.
While alcohol is basically an environmentally safe compound, it has revealed itself to be unsafe and undesirable as a fuel blend.
Oil and water don't mix, E10 contains 90% petroleum oil, and 10% alcohol...alcohol absorbs large amounts of water - Using E85 or E100 fuel poses far lower risks, and would substantially decrease our dependence on foreign oil -