Handbook of Cellulosic Ethanol

Disadvantages of Ethanol

There are a few disadvantages to ethanol when compared to gaso­line, including:

1. Lower energy density in ethanol is the most signifi­cant disadvantage. A kilogram of ethanol has about 66% of the energy that a kilogram of gasoline has. This will translate as lower miles per gallon when ethanol is substituted for gasoline in automobiles.

2. Ethanol is hygroscopic and tends to absorb moisture.

3. Ethanol may have corrosive effects on some older vehicles with steel fuel tanks and fuel piping, which

were manufactured before the 1980s; some older plas­tic fuel pipe lines may also be affected by ethanol.

4. Low vapor pressure of ethanol can make cold starts difficult.

5. Ethanol increases exhaust emissions of acetaldehyde.

Ethanol can be used in various proportions as a transportation fuel. It can be used directly as a transportation fuel or it can be blended with gasoline. Ethanol is most commonly blended with gasoline in concentrations of 10% bioethanol to 90% gasoline, known as E10 and nicknamed "gasohol." Ethanol is blended with gasoline up to 15% and can be burned in traditional combustion engines with virtually no modifications. E10 is the most commonly used gasoline-ethanol blend in the United States, whereas E20-E25 blends are common in Brazil. A more detailed discussion on etha­nol-gasoline blends is in Chapter 16.

Handbook of Cellulosic Ethanol

Handbook of Cellulosic Ethanol

The inevitable decline in petroleum reserves and the rise in demand for oil from rapidly growing economies have caused soaring oil prices, and coupled with climate change concerns have contributed …

Biodiesel Education Grants

Competitive grants are available through the Biodiesel Fuel Education Program (Section 9006) to educate governmental and private enti­ties that operate vehicle fleets, the public, and other interested enti­ties about the …

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