Ethanol - Gas of the Future

    High gas prices always provide consumers with something to complain about. When payments at the pump continue to be more burdensome, due to the country's reliance on foreign oil, more and more research is directed to the production of ethanol as a replacement.

   Ethanol is classified as a form of renewable energy and part of a larger category of alternative energies know as biofuels. By producing and using larger amounts of these biofuels, including ethanol, we can not only reduce the cost of gasoline used for trans- portation, but also create a healthier environment, since ethanol does not emit the same harmful chemicals into the air as fossil
fuels do.

  Currently, there are over 80 ethanol plants in the United States, with construction being done on many more. These plants are now in high demand, as ethanol is being considered as an alternative for gasoline.

  The process used to create ethanol from biomass is not complicated, and may save consumers major money at the pump.   
         TOPICS

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         Future

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 The Greenhouse Effect
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  As this technique is researched further and perfected, ethanol could become a standard in the transportation industry.

  First, large amounts of biomass are needed to start the process of ethanol production. Sugars and starches are used for this process, and some of the most popular ingredients include corn, waste paper, trees and grasses, industrial waste, and plant fiber.

 In some other countries, material such as sugar cane is also used. Anything that can be fermented and is made of sugars and starches is a viable material to use for the biomass needed to create ethanol.

  Next, yeast and bacteria are used to ferment the biomass product. This is one of the oldest techniques known to man, as it was used in ancient days (and still is today) for creating wine. In wine, the result is an alcoholic drink product. In biomass, the yeast and bacteria produce ethanol, which is also a form of alcohol in very high concentration.

  Further processing of the ethanol produced by this technology results in a product that can be used as an alternative to gasoline.

  As technology continues to progress, ethanol can be more easily made even from low-value plant materials such as sawdust and cornstalks. This could provide the United States, as well as other countries in the world, with a very inexpensive form of energy.

  Ethanol is the gas of the future, and hopefully as the world sees its benefits, it will be produced in larger quantities to help keep the environment clean.
 
 
     

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