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Old 10-02-2007, 12:48 AM   #23
DGthe3
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(be forewarned, this post may contain rambling and/or harsh opinions)

Ethanol is being pressed mainly by people who stand to profit from its use plus enviros who haven't done the research. In case any of you suspect that I don't care for farmers, most of my aunts and uncles still operate farms, some as their primary income. This evening on a science news show on discovery channel they interviewed a professor from Stanford University. A couple of things he mentioned were that the pollution caused by burning ethanol in all cars and trucks on the road now would result in more deaths than are currently linked to 'regular' emmissions. this is expected because of the increased levels of ozone that would result. Now, ozone high up is good, helps protect us from the sun. down low it is toxic, acts as a greenhouse gas, and helps create smog. Also, nobody seems to ask the question of where all the crops to produce biofuel will come from. Seems like cutting down forests to grow crops is a bad idea to reduce global warming. Also, it is not likely that small family farms will particularly benefit from ethanol. A good portion of farming is now done on a massive industrial scale and it is likely that these megafarms will get the supplying contracts,

The bottom line is, nothing is perfect. Everything has its good points and bad. Remeber, using ethanol still creates greenhouse gasses like CO2, it just produces less than gasoline per mile, but not by as much as you would imagine. And that is taking into account the fact that the crops take in CO2 while they grow. It takes a lot of energy to turn sugar into alcohol. and it needs to be 100% pure with no water before it gets added to the gasoline to make E85. Ask someone who makes moonshine about how hard that is to accomplish. For now, gasoline is the best way to currently fuel vehicles until it becomes cheap to use hydrogen or electric cars become popular. Until then, I will take a muscle car that gets 30 mpg on the highway.
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