Ethanol Facts

Ethanol Facts

Here are some interesting facts about Ethanol, which you might not have known:

  • For every barrel of ethanol produced, 1.2 barrels of petroleum are displaced.
  • To test a car powered by ethanol, you will need a very good automotive multimeter. This is because you need to test the voltage generated by the engine as well as the battery.
  • E-10 Unleaded (10% ethanol/90% ordinary unleaded gasoline) is approved for use by every major automaker in the world.
  • A typical 40 million gallon ethanol plant creates 32 full-time jobs and generates an additional $1.2 million in tax revenue for a community
  • Studies are being done to determine how wheat straw and sugar cane can be used to produce ethanol.
  • The U.S. is the world’s top ethanol producer, and Brazil is the world’s top ethanol exporter.
  • According to the Renewable Fuel Association, there are 106 ethanol plants already in operation in the U.S., an additional 48 plants are under construction, and seven are undergoing expansion.
  • Ethanol is a cost-effective octane-enhancer that typically adds two to three octane numbers when blended with ordinary gasoline.
  • The use of ethanol-blended gasoline helps reduce tropospheric ozone levels.
  • Ethanol helps reduce PM (particulate matter – small pieces of air pollution that penetrate deeply into human lungs) emissions by more than 25%.
  • If 5% of U.S. vehicles were powered by hybrids operating on E85 ethanol, oil imports could be reduced by about 140 million barrels a year.
  • Did you know that most of the batteries in vehicles are a type of lithium ion. This is the only “fuel” that outperforms you an ethanol vehicle. If you are not going to go with a  powerful ethanol car then we definitely recommend an electric vehicle like the Tesla Model S or 3, or even the Roadster. They use the same batteries as that can be found in the very best cordless screwdrivers!

Hope you found these facts interesting, check in soon for more!

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Why You Should Buy An Electric Bike?

Many people opt for bicycles because they help one to get the physical exercise and also using a bicycle is much for environmental friendly because, unlike the modern methods of transportation, they don’t give off harmful wastes into the environment. There are two popular types of bicycles available in the market. One is the regular, mechanical bicycle and another one is electric bicycle. There are various advantages of using an electric bike and you will get various models and brands in the market for an electric bike that you can easily check out. You can also view electric bike reviews here. To help you out, this article will take a look at why you should buy an electric bike.

Reasons To Opt For An Electric Bike:

  • Electric bikes are considered to be more environmentally friendly than most of the modern day transportation such as: car, bus, etc. This is because; electric bike will not give out any harmful emissions, unlike the modern transportations, which will contribute to the global warming. There is no petrol or diesel required because this bike runs completely with the help of electricity. The harmful emission from petrol and diesel run transportations actually contribute to the global warming, which is currently a hot topic of debate and countries are looking at various ways to contribute less to the global warming, by cutting down the harmful emissions in various possible ways.
  • Electric bikes are generally more sustainable than the most modern transportations. All you will need to do is to buy the electricity from the green energy supplier. As there is no consumption of fossil fuel, it actually helps to contribute to the environment.

In other words, if you are looking to help your environment, you should definitely opt for an electric bike. The electric bike produces no such emission, which can harm the environment. Also, an electric bike will produce less than 10% energy that is spent in powering your regular car. This means that, not only it doesn’t produce any harmful emissions; it will also produce less energy compared to the modern transportation, such as car. In fact, most people are turning towards using electric bikes because of other advantages as well, such as it helps to save time as one can get to their destination faster.

Did you know that an average electric bike is 13 times more efficient than a car and 18 times more efficient than your regular SUV’s and they are also 6 times more efficient than the rail transit? With the pollution problem becoming an alarming issue, you can easily contribute to the environment by opting for an electric bike.

The features of the electric bike will vary from one bike to another, however, no matter which brand or model the electric bike is of, they will definitely help to bring a positive change to our environment as they don’t create any pollution and they are more efficient than the regular and modern transportation.

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Ethanol – Economy and Energy

Ethanol’s impact on an economy

Ethanol creates jobs, increases farm income, reduces farm program payments, and decreases the amount of energy we import. Local people are employed by ethanol plants, local crops are purchased to make the ethanol, and local tax bases are significantly expanded. An ethanol plant of average size employs about 40 people with well-paying, high-skill jobs. Local providers of goods and services for the plant also provide spin-off jobs. The combination of reduced farm program payments and increased tax revenues adds at least $1.30 (this figure even takes into consideration the ethanol incentive program) to the U.S. Treasury for every gallon of ethanol produced.

Ethanol is an American-made fuel, and though it is not the ultimate answer to our nation’s energy needs, it certainly helps our country to be more energy independent. U.S. ethanol production provides for our economy more than 4 billion gallons of fuel that is produced domestically from renewable resources and does not need to be imported.

Energy Balance of Ethanol

Ethanol yields more energy than it takes to produce it, which means it has a positive energy balance. Not only is ethanol an efficient fuel, but it is made through an efficient process; it requires less than 35,000 BTUs of energy to turn corn into ethanol, while the ethanol offers at least 77,000 BTUs of energy. Studies show that ethanol has a positive net energy balance. The most recent study, conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, shows that ethanol provides an average net energy gain of at least 77%.

 

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Ethanol production and effects on the environment

Effects on Environment

Ethanol-blended fuels help reduce carbon monoxide, volatile organic compounds, and hydrocarbon tailpipe emissions. The Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory reports that ethanol-blended fuels reduced carbon dioxide-equivalent emissions in 2005 by 7.8 million tons. This, in effect, is similar to removing the annual greenhouse gas emissions of more than one million automobiles. Furthermore, Ethanol is an oxygenate (an oxygen substance added to fuels), and that oxygen helps the fuel burn more cleanly and more completely. Cleaner fuel means cleaner air.

Ethanol plants today are built with and utilize the best emission-control technology available. Thermal oxidizers (TO’s) control the vast majority of emissions and odors that might come out of a plant. The U.S. EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) classifies most ethanol plants as “minor” emissions sources since they emit less than 100 tons of pollutants per year; the average-sized power plant, in contrast, may emit more than 20,000 tons per year. Most cars emit about six tons of pollutants in a year, which means that the emissions from an ethanol plant are probably less than the emission from vehicles in an average neighborhood.

Ethanol Production

Plants that produce ethanol, corn oil, and corn sweeteners also produce by-products in large quantities, and these by-products are employed successfully by beef producers as a more affordable feed alternative for cattle.

Wet Milling Process

The wet milling process is a complex one, producing a variety of products and by-products. Simply put, corn is steeped for 30-40 hours to begin the process of breaking the kernel down into its components. The germ is separated for the extraction of corn oil. The bran is then screened, and the starch is separated from the gluten. The steepwater is condensed to the consistency of molasses and mixed with corn bran to produce corn gluten feed.

Wet Milling Co-Products

CORN GLUTEN FEEDCorn gluten feed is the highest volume co-product of the wet corn milling industry and is a popular feedlot cattle protein and energy source because it is an intermediate protein product that is rich in highly-digestible fiber. Dry corn gluten feed is often pelleted and marketed to domestic and European dairy industry. Corn gluten feed actually contains no gluten, but a mixture of corn bran and condensed steepwater solubles; it may also contain corn germ meal, as well as other co-product streams from the plant. Corn gluten feed can vary in composition due to the ration of condensed distillers solubles to corn bran. This will vary from plant to plant, depending on the markets available. Corn gluten feed that is higher in bran will be lower in protein, phosphorous, and sulfur.

CORN GLUTEN MEALCorn gluten meal is golden-yellow and is mainly gluten, the high protein portion of the corn kernel. Corn gluten meal is used primarily in the swine and poultry industries and is high in xanthophyl, a yellow pigment. Corn gluten meal is a high bypass protein source. Although expensive, it may be useful in beef diets that require bypass protein, such as those for lightweight calves.

CONDENSED STEEPWATER SOLUBLESCondensed steepwater solubles are an excellent source of soluble protein for liquid beef supplements. Most condensed steepwater solubles are used in corn gluten feed, but because condensed steepwater solubles have the consistency of molasses, they can also be used in liquid supplements. Condensed steepwater solubles are about 35% protein and can be extremely high in phosphorous and sulfur. In 1999, the wet corn milling industry used 1.4 billion bushels of corn (14.8% of the U.S. supply). Wet milling yields 31.5 pounds of starch with corn being processed into 33 pounds of sweetener or 2.5 gallons of ethanol. Also, 13.5 pounds of gluten feed, 2.5 pounds of gluten meal, and 1.6 pounds of corn oil are produced. In 2000, 10.6 billion pounds of corn gluten feed and corn germ meal were produced.

Dry Milling Process

Corn is nearly two-thirds starch, the primary substrate for alcohol fermentation, so the nutrients in the remaining one-third of the corn kernel are concentrated into distillers feeds. The process begins by grinding the grain; starch must be converted to sugar by enzymes before the yeast can ferment the sugar to produce ethanol and carbon dioxide. The fermentation process takes 40-50 hours. The ethanol is collected and refined, and a centrifuge separates the distillers grains from the solubles, which can then be condensed to about 30% dry matter (condensed distillers solubles). These wet co-products can then be used locally for livestock feed or the produce distillers dried grains, or distillers dried grains with solubles. The dried grains can be transported longer distances, but some feeding value may be lost, and drying is expensive.

Dry Milling Co-Products

DISTILLERS GRAINS

Wet distillers grains and distillers grains with solubles contain the remaining nutrients after the corn starch is fermented to alcohol, which means that the original nutrients in the corn are concentrated approximately three times. Wet distillers grains are higher in both protein and energy than corn gluten feed (gluten and oil remain in distillers grains). When distillers grains are dried, however, they do lose some energy value when compared to wet products. Like corn gluten meal, dried distillers grains are a good bypass protein source for cattle.

CONDENSED DISTILLERS SOLUBLES

Distillers solubles can be added to the distillers grains, or condensed and used as a liquid cattle feed supplement. Condensed distillers solubles appear to be slightly higher in energy and similar in protein to wet distillers grains when adjusted for moisture. The protein level is similar to distillers grains (approximately 30%). Because condensed distillers solubles are 70% moisture, upper Midwestern feeders should use heated or underground tanks to prevent freezing.

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Ethanol and your Vehicle

Ethanol and your Vehicle

E-10

Ethanol helps keep gas pump prices affordable by adding to the overall motor fuel supply in the U.S. In fact, the Consumer Federation of America reports that drivers who purchase gasoline blended with up to 10% of ethanol save up to eight cents per gallon as compared to straight gasoline purchases.

All vehicles can use a blend of up to 10% ethanol. Ethanol is most commonly sold to motorists in the “E10” blend – 10% ethanol, 90% gasoline – which burns cleaner than gasoline. Manufacturers of small engines (boats, lawnmowers) also make their engines compatible with gasoline containing a blend of up to 10% of ethanol.

E85 is an alternative fuel that is made up of 85% ethanol and 15% unleaded gasoline for use in flexible fuel vehicles (FFVs). The flexibility lies in that the owners of FFVs have the option of using E85, straight unleaded gasoline, or any blend of ethanol up to 85%. It is possible, though quite difficult, to convert your non-FFV vehicle to operate on E85, but automobile makers are increasing their FFV lineups each model year.

E-Diesel

E diesel is a blend of standard No. 2 diesel fuel containing up to 15% ethanol and a proprietary additive to maintain blend stability and certain fuel properties, which may total diet comprise from 0.2% to 5.0% of the blend. Currently, E diesel fuels are considered experimental and can be used legally in off-road applications. Special permission must be obtained from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for on-road use.

Tests have shown that E diesel blends may reduce certain components of exhaust emissions compared to regular No. 2 diesel, especially particulate matter. The ethanol in E diesel blends is also a domestic renewable resource. The use of greater volumes of ethanol reduces crude oil imports and results in lower contributions to greenhouse gases.

E diesel is made by splash blending of conventional diesel, fuel-grade ethanol, and additives. No special mixing protocol or temperature control is required.

E-85

Ethanol helps keep gas pump prices affordable by adding to the overall motor fuel supply in the U.S. In fact, the Consumer Federation of America reports that drivers who purchase gasoline blended with up to 10% of ethanol save up to eight cents per gallon as compared to straight gasoline purchases.

All vehicles can use a blend of up to 10% ethanol. Ethanol is most commonly sold to motorists in the “E10” blend – 10% ethanol, 90% gasoline – which burns cleaner than gasoline. Manufacturers of small engines (boats, lawnmowers) also make their engines compatible with gasoline containing a blend of up to 10% of ethanol.

E85 is an alternative fuel that is made up of 85% ethanol and 15% unleaded gasoline for use in flexible fuel vehicles (FFVs). The flexibility lies in that the owners of FFVs have the option of using E85, straight unleaded gasoline, or any blend of ethanol up to 85%. It is possible, though quite difficult, to convert your non-FFV vehicle to operate on E85, but automobile makers are increasing their FFV lineups each model year.

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E-10 Unleaded

E-10 Unleaded is a blend of 90% ordinary unleaded gasoline with 10% ethanol. E-10 Unleaded is a high-octane, clean-burning fuel made from corn and other grains.

Environmental Benefits

E-10 Unleaded with ethanol burns cleaner than ordinary gas and reduces toxic emissions from your tailpipe. E-10 Unleaded is keeping air cleaner in cities throughout the U.S. Since ethanol is made from renewable resources, we can have a constant supply, unlike fossil fuels that are in limited supply and shrinking rapidly.

E-10 Unleaded reduces emissions of carbon monoxide and other toxics that pollute the air. The use of E-10 Unleaded also helps offset greenhouse gas emissions caused by burning fossil fuels. In addition, E-10 Unleaded is biodegradable and does not contaminate ground water supplies.

E-10 Unleaded And Your Automobile

Every major car company in the world approves the use of E-10 Unleaded under warranty, and many manufacturers actually recommend that you use E-10 Unleaded because of its clean-air benefits and high-performance qualities. Harley-Davidson, Briggs & Stratton, and Honda – just to name a few – recommend the use of E-10 Unleaded. Some of the major automotive benefits of E-10 Unleaded with ethanol are the following:

  • The ethanol in E-10 Unleaded adds two to three points of octane to gasoline, thus helping to improve engine performance while keeping engine parts cleaner. It does so using a natural, renewable additive that works as well in older engines as it does in newer ones.
  • The ethanol in E-10 Unleaded helps keep your engine cooler because the ethanol (alcohol) in the fuel combusts at a lower temperature.
  • The ethanol in E-10 Unleaded keeps fuel injectors cleaner-helping improve engine performance. It does not increase corrosion, nor will it harm any seals or valves.
  • The “cleansing” nature of E-10 Unleaded with ethanol can actually keep your fuel system cleaner, leading to improved performance.
  • E-10 Unleaded is perfectly acceptable in lawn mowers, snowmobiles, and other small engines, and may be used anywhere that unleaded gasoline is used.
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Glossary

AGE 85:

Aviation Grade Ethanol used in piston engine aircraft. It contains 85% ethanol, along with light hydrocarbons and biodiesel fuel.

BIODIESEL:

A renewable fuel in which soy oil is blended with standard diesel fuel and other additives. Research is underway to develop diesel blends with ethanol.

BIOMASS:

Plant matter such as trees, grasses, crops, and other biological material.

CARBON MONOXIDE:

A deadly gas produced from the tailpipe when cars burn gasoline. Ethanol in unleaded gasoline helps reduce carbon monoxide emissions by as much as 30%.

CLEAN AIR ACT:

In 1990, Congress passed amendments to the Clean Air Act, which set minimum standards for air quality in American cities. Cities with excessive amounts of carbon monoxide and ozone must develop programs to battle air pollution.

CO-PRODUCTS:

Other products made by ethanol plants as a result of ethanol production. Co-products may include livestock feed, corn sweeteners, corn oil, and carbon dioxide.

DRIED DISTILLERS GRAINS (DDG):

A dry mill ethanol production co-product that is fed to livestock; also referred to as DDGS (dried distillers grains with solubles.)

DRY MILL:

An ethanol production process in which the entire corn kernel is first ground into flour before processing. Dry mills also produce dried distillers grains with solubles (DDGS), which is fed to livestock, and carbon dioxide which is used in food processing and bottling. Most new ethanol plants are dry mill facilities

E-10 UNLEADED:

Ordinary unleaded gasoline enhanced with ethanol, which is blended at a rate of 10%. E-10 Unleaded is approved for use by every major automaker in the world.

E85:

A blend of 85% ethanol and 15% ordinary unleaded gasoline that is used in Flexible Fuel Vehicles.

E-DIESEL:

A blend of ethanol and diesel fuel plus other additives designed to reduce air pollution from heavy equipment, city buses, and other vehicles that operate on diesel engines.

ETBE:

Ethyl tertiary butyl ether; a fuel derived from ethanol that offers advantages in terms of lower volatility and blending.

ETHANOL:

A clean-burning, high octane, renewable fuel additive made from grain or other biomass sources.

FLEXIBLE FUEL VEHICLE (FFV):

A car or truck that can run on any blend of unleaded gasoline with up to 85 percent ethanol. A computer in the fuel system automatically compensates for the varying levels of ethanol in the fuel to assure optimum performance at all times.

METHANOL:

A fuel additive made from fossil fuels such as coal, petroleum, and natural gas. Many car warranties do not cover the use of methanol-based fuels, but all do approve the use of ethanol blends.

MTBE:

Methyl tertiary butyl ether; a fuel derived from methanol that has been discovered in groundwater supplies, thus leading to legislation banning its use in many states.

NET ENERGY BALANCE:

The difference between the energy produced and the energy it takes to produce it. Research has shown that ethanol has a net energy balance of 1.67 to 1, meaning that for every 100 BTUs of energy used to make ethanol, 167 BTUs of ethanol are produced.

OCTANE RATING:

The octane rating of a fuel is indicated on the pump, using numbers such as 87, 90, 91, etc. The higher the number, the greater the octane rating of the gasoline. The octane rating represents the “antiknock” properties of the fuel. The higher the number, the slower the fuel burns, and the less likely your engine will knock.

OXYGENATED FUELS:

A fuel such as ethanol-blended gasoline that contains high oxygen content is called “oxygenated.” Ethanol is an oxygenate, meaning that it adds oxygen to the fuel mixture. More oxygen helps the fuel burn more completely, thereby reducing the amount of harmful emissions from the tailpipe.

REFORMULATED GASOLINE (RFG):

A cleaner-burning blend of gasoline that reduces motor fuel emissions. RFG reduces some of the more harmful, toxic compounds and adds more combustible, cleaner-burning compounds. As a result, RFG can be efficiently, safely, and cost-effectively used in today’s cars—using the same refueling methods and with no appreciable difference on vehicle performance. Since 1995, RFG has eliminated approximately 300 million tons of pollution from the nation’s atmosphere.

RENEWABLE FUELS STANDARD (RFS):

Part of proposed federal energy legislation that would set a minimum number of gallons of renewable fuels to be used in the nation’s transportation fuel supply each year. The RFS would include fuels such as ethanol and biodiesel (soy diesel).

VAPOR LOCK:

An engine performance problem due to high vapor pressure in fuel. While ethanol increases the vapor pressure of fuel, state and federal standards continue to lower vapor pressure levels, virtually eliminating vapor lock problems. All major auto manufacturers now use in-tank fuel pumps, which are not subject to the vapor lock problems seen in older in-line fuel pumps.

VEETC:

Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit; 2004 federal legislation that strengthened the nation’s commitment to renewable fuels by extending tax incentives for ethanol and biodiesel, improving flexibility for petroleum companies to blend ethanol, and ensuring that Highway Trust Fund revenues are not adversely affected by increased ethanol use.

VOC:

Volatile organic compounds (VOC) emissions are air pollutants found in engine exhaust and are reduced by 12% with ethanol use.

WET MILL:

An ethanol production facility in which the corn is first soaked or “steeped” in water before processing. Wet mills also have the ability to produce co-products such as industrial starch, food starch, high fructose corn syrup, gluten feed, and corn oils.

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