Flexi-Fuel Cars And The Ethanol Production – Can It Really Help?
With the persistent dominance of oil-producing countries in the fuel industry, more and more researches are being conducted to create an alternative source of fuel energy. This came in the form of E85 and the technology to manufacture flexi-fuel cars.
Ethanol is in actuality, ethyl alcohol- made of oxygen, hydrogen and carbon. Right now, it is produced through the fermentation of sugar and converted starch from various agricultural produce, mainly corn and wheat. Environmentally friendly, ethanol is a renewable fuel source and has proven to be an excellent way to reduce greenhouse gases emission from vehicle use.Ethanol burns clearly and more cleanly than gasoline and diesel fuels do. Although the production of ethanol does generate emissions, because the biomass used to produce ethanol re absorbs the carbon dioxide, the effect is countered.
With the advent of flexi fuel cars, introduced by automobile manufacturers in technologically advanced countries such as ours, the future of ethanol as a fuel source is clearer. Ethanol blends such as Ethanol 10 is now being used for the more recent makes and models of vehicles. While E85, which is almost pure ethanol, cannot be used on traditional vehicles, flex fuel vehicles were manufactured to run on E85 or gasoline if the need arises.
While research and development is still ongoing, the current tanks required for ethanol compatibility are bigger, primarily because ethanol produces less energy than gasoline. Ethanol fuel is not considered to be economically the best, but the advantages it offers are far greater than just savings on fuel consumption. Aside from that, ethanol is relatively cheaper than gasoline and may even be lower in cost in the coming years.
Nevertheless, fuel economy for ethanol compatible vehicles can easily be improved by regular car and engine maintenance such as using platinum spark plugs, better air filters, cleaning or regular replacement of fuel filter, and proper inflation of tires.
Aside from advocating environmental causes by lowering green house gases emission, ethanol use can give us another big advantage – our total independence from gasoline producing companies, creating more jobs and profits for our own citizens. Crude oil and gasoline oil dependence has been the trademark of our vehicle-reliant country. The trouble is, with the many convenient technologies that we have developed for ourselves that are all run by oil, it does not appear that our oil requirements will decline in the near future.
Although some critics say that using agricultural land for the production of ethanol can be a deterrent to the production of food supply, scientists and developers are maintaining a positive outlook. Experiments are now being conducted to create ethanol from non-food sources and this technology will not take too long to take effect.
For your next car, it might be worth looking into Flex Fuel vehicles such as the ones offered by major car manufacturers like Ford, Toyota, GM, and Nissan. The age for improved and safer fuel energy sources has come and with ethanol, there may be room yet for total fuel power self-reliance.
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