Ethanol May Not Be The Best Fuel For The Future

If you think that cars running on E85 a mix of 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline are healthier and more environmentally friendly, you may have to think again. A scientist at Stanford University in California, USA, set up a computer simulation of the air quality in 2020 according to two different scenarios: one where all vehicles were using standard gasoline, and one where they were fuelled by E85.

He found that, in both cases, the number of premature death due to environmental factors was roughly the same just for different reasons. Whereas greenhouse gasses and other typical pollutants produced by fossil fuels were significantly reduced in a world with ethanol cars, the levels of harmful ozone were elevated and thus caused severe damage to the respiratory system.

So far, the only proper alternatives to such technologies seem to be electrical/solar power, or even just compressed air.

Ethanol is widely touted as an eco-friendly, clean-burning fuel. But if every vehicle in the United States ran on fuel made primarily from ethanol instead of pure gasoline, the number of respiratory-related deaths and hospitalizations likely would increase, according to a new study by Stanford University atmospheric scientist Mark Z. Jacobson.

Source: Stanford University

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