The Ethanol Debate

April 10th, 2011

In a seemingly futile attempt to decrease the amount of fuel Americans burn each year, the government has increased the allowed percentage of Ethanol in gasoline. The maximum percentage mixture previously was 10 percent. This caused all kinds of problems especially for small engines as it ruins components such as seals, gaskets and hoses. Engine manufacturers had to modify the components in order to prevent harm to them.
Now the government has increased the allowable ethanol percentage to 15 percent. This change will once again raise headaches for consumers and technicians alike as the increase will cause similar problems for engines and fuel systems once again. Our CarbonClean Fuel System Cleaner by Motorvac is a great piece to add to your auto shop to help clean out the fuel sysem from all the gum and deposits that build up in your fuel system.
One other side effect from this increased demand for corn based ethanol is that it is causing corn prices to go up.  US Reserves are at their lowest point in 15 years because of increased demand from ethanol producers. Corn prices are skyrocketing and products made from corn are following suit.
The big secret is that it actually costs (in terms of energy) more per gallon to produce ethanol than the savings that it provides. From the machines that plant and harvest the corn to the actual chemical process that converts corn to ethanol, we end up burning more fuel creating the fuel substitute. So we must ask the obvious question, why would we continue to produce it? If it’s strictly for political reasons, and it provides us with an artificial sense of accomplishment that we are doing something about the energy issue, then we need to start taking a harder look at our policies.

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