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Ethanol: Literature Review - page 13 / 17





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Do you want to know how much energy it takes to make a gallon of ethanol? or the effects of fuel ethanol use on fuel-cycle energy and greenhouse gas emissions. This information can be found through the American Coalition for Ethanol web site. Go to the Ethanol Studies link at http://www.ethanol.org/.

For further information on ethanol and energy visit: Is ethanol production energy efficient? At http://www.greenfuels.org/ethaques.html, and Estimating the Net Energy Balance of Corn-Ethanol at http://www.ethanolrfa.org/aer721.pdf.


Ethanol Around the World

Today, many countries around the world are testing both oxygenated and neat

(near 100%) alcohol fuels. Information about ethanol in Brazil, the United States and Canada will be discussed in the next few sections.

8.1 Brazil

Brazil is the world leader in the use of ethanol as an automobile fuel. More than 11 billion litres of ethanol for fuel are produced each year. About 15% of the vehicles with spark ignition engines (the type normally fueled by gasoline) run on neat ethanol, and the rest use a blend of 20% ethanol in gasoline. Ethanol was introduced to reduce Brazil’s dependence on expensive foreign oil, and provides an additional market for domestic sugar producers. Beneficial effects on air quality have been an added bonus. http://www.comalc.com/fuel ethanol.htm


United States

In the U.S., ethanol blends make up about 12% of the total gasoline market. In some parts of America, projects are underway to test the viability of replacing diesel fuel with ethanol; a project by Greater Peoria Transit is documenting ethanol's usefulness in fighting urban air pollution with its fleet of 14 ethanol-powered buses. http://www.comalc.com/fuel ethanol.htm

Support for fuel ethanol is a key component in the current U.S. “Clean Air Act” because of its beneficial effect on air quality. “Oxygenated fuels,” such as ethanol blends, are mandated in certain regions to reduce carbon monoxide emissions and/or ozone.

Today there are more than 55 domestic fuel ethanol production facilities located in 22 states across the country with annual capacity of approximately 1.8 billion gallons. Ethanol production facilities are largely modular, should certain demand for ethanol arise, expansions could be done quickly by simply adding new equipment to existing production facilities. Expansions to existing facilities could easily add 600 million gallons of production capacity within the next 12-18 months. In sum, a total of

    • 2.8

      billion gallons of production could be available in the near term. Furthermore, the

      • U.

        S. Department of Agriculture has suggested that grain-based ethanol production

could grow to as high as 3.3 billion gallons a year by 2004. In addition, the next generation of ethanol production facilities will include production from cellulose and biomass feedstocks. Earlier this year, there was a

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