Thursday, November 6, 2008

The Future of Ethanol

By now I am sure that you have heard the hype surrounding Ethanol. General Motors is one of the biggest advocates of E85 (85% Ethanol and 15% gasoline) and they offer many of their models with this option. Recently, I found out that it costs GM about $150.00 to add the hardware necessary to the engine that allows it to burn E85.

That amounts to a small price to pay for big automaker to claim it is doing its part in the Green movement! Give GM credit though, at least they are trying to give us some alternative.

Currently, E85 is somewhat hard to find, even living in the Midwest. I live in Ohio and I believe there are about 65 or so stations that offer this fuel and I am desperately trying to find all the convenient ones.

E85 use is great for our farmers but basically impossible on a large scale since we need grain to feed ourselves before feeding our autos. Some of the alternatives being studied are cellulosic ethanol, which is being derived in many different ways. The goal is to find a renewable source of ethanol that will not take food from our mouths, Plants such as switch grass are proving to be promising.

I like using E85 as I know that the majority of the product comes from local sources and the monies are not heading overseas. I also like the price at the pump and today I filled up for about $1.61 per gallon.

What do you think? Is Ethanol a boondoggle, waste of time or is it a viable fuel alternative utilized in our quest to live oil free?

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