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2007-09-30
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Busting the Ethanol Hype

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Ethanol is currently the "eco-rage" amongst the green movement in America. While the fuel is easy to produce, burns clean and carries a lighter carbon emissions footprint than petroleum, the process to produce ethanol is not without its own carbon requirement. Additionally, ethanol itself is corrosive to engines and contains only "67% of the energy available in gasoline. Fortunately, scientists are not convinced that ethanol is the answer and are pursuing alternatives in the form of "designer fuels Essentially, by using a process to create synthetic alcohol compound (like Octanol and Isoprenoids) from enzymes, scientists hope to create an easily repeatable procedure for creating a fuel with a higher energy yield. Ultimately, no alcohol based fuel has come close to touching bio-diesel's energy yield. Another designer fuel notion actually seeks to create a synthetic fatty acid to make bio-diesel easier to produce in bulk. As these solutions continue to develop, ethanol is looking weaker and weaker everyday.



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