Self-Sustaining Fuel

Length: 1443 words (4.1 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Excellent
Open Document
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Text Preview

More ↓

Continue reading...

Open Document

Self-Sustaining Fuel

With the demand for oil rising, the price of gas continues to rise to astronomical levels. With oil levels all over the world falling, companies have been looking to alternative sources of fuel and energy for cars. Different forms of fuel have been emerging from many places. Scientists and Engineers have found alternative fuels in the form of alcohol, electricity, natural gas, bio-diesel, and a combination of gas and one of the other three. This never ending search for new and better fuel sources has opened up a new field and automakers are adapting to it as it comes. Although many new forms of fuel have been thought of or tested, perhaps the most promising alternative fuel source is a mixture of fifteen percent gas and eighty five percent alcohol referred to as E85 ethanol.
This form of fuel referred to as E85 ethanol is relatively easy to make. By breaking down the starches in varying crops and fermenting them an alcohol called ethanol is produced. When mixed with fifteen percent gasoline, cars are able to run just as efficiently as they would on one hundred percent gasoline. Every car is able to run on E85 ethanol, but due to its corrosive nature some cars may need a more sturdy fuel system and fuel lines. The process to replace these lines is relatively simple and costs between 400 and 600 dollars. While this may seem expensive, E85 should be cheaper than gas at the pumps if it becomes widespread.
Last year our nation used an astounding 140 billion gallons of gasoline. Of the 140 billion, 60 billion was imported from the Middle East. While these large amounts are being used only 4.3 billion gallons of ethanol were created (Crooks 1). While this is a small amount it is the first of many steps that should be taken to help solve our nation's dependency on gasoline and crude oil, both of which are non-renewable resources.
For years alcohol has been used in cars to make them run as an alternative source to gasoline. Henry Ford's original Model T was actually designed to run on both gasoline and alcohol. However, this technology has never reached the public and has not become a common fuel to the American consumers. The reason this technology is not used in cars everyday is because the lack of interest and the refusal of oil companies to change the product that they sell everyday.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Self-Sustaining Fuel." 26 Sep 2017
Title Length Color Rating  
Essay about Hydrogen as an Alternative Fuel - It’s so hot. Today, millions of motor vehicles are producing greenhouse gases that are flooding into our atmosphere. At the rate society is going, a theme such as global warming is being considered more and more. Not only is this petroleum addiction hurting our environment, it may also have adverse affects on our independence. The United States imports most of its petroleum from foreign nations which could pose problems in the future. This is why Alternative fuels such as hydrogen should be extensively researched....   [tags: Energy ]
:: 7 Works Cited
1013 words
(2.9 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Developers Create a Secluded Community, Prairie Crossing in Grayslake, Illinois - The community of Prairie Crossing in Grayslake, Illinois, began when land slated for a typical modern suburban development was purchased by a group of neighbors who shared a vision to create a community that was focused on preserving land and building a community of healthy living choices. They created the Prairie Holdings Corporation to oversee the development of the 677 acre area and turned to the idea of New Urbanism by which to create this community. George and Victoria Ranney have guided this development since its inception (Prairie Crossing, 2009)....   [tags: preservation, environment, self-sustaining]
:: 2 Works Cited
520 words
(1.5 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Fossil Fuel versus Biofuels as a Primary Fuel for Transportation Essay - Should we then abandon fossil fuel completely and change to a cleaner type of fuel. Fossil fuel has always been the blame on the bad and polluted environment that we have right now. But we still use fossil fuel, or in this paper we call it petroleum, because it is highly efficient to use it for our transportation fuel. The ‘abundant’ reserve and the increasing development of technology to harness it efficiently from beneath us has made us realize that petroleum is the best fuel for our transportation needs....   [tags: petroleum, biodiesel, oil, fuel]
:: 10 Works Cited
2019 words
(5.8 pages)
Term Papers [preview]
The Use of Hydrogen Fuel Cells Essay - As fossil fuels continue to be targeted for removal in the use as a source of power many talk about the use of hydrogen fuel cells as a replacement. The article discus this from two view points, Joan Ogden, a Professor of Environmental Science and Policy at the University of California, and Daniel Sperling , Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Environmental Science and Policy, and Director of the Institute of Transportation Studies at the University of California, describe how many countries have begun projects in regards to hydrogen fuel cells and that car companies have announced commercialized versions in the near future....   [tags: Hydrogen Fuel Cells]
:: 5 Works Cited
1024 words
(2.9 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Stages in Development a Country Needs to Become a Self-sustaining Economy - Using Rostow's model as a basis what are the stages in development a country needs to become a self-sustaining economy. The Rostow model is used to detect what stage of development a nation is in, within the course of the 5 stages the increase in development will show that a country will gradually gain a self-sustaining economy. Within the 5 stages of the Rostow model each stage differs and eventually leads to a nation having a self-supporting economy. Within the first couple of stages (Stage 1 & 2) the economy needs to have some foreign direct investment and also must develop some form of capital formation....   [tags: Economic] 649 words
(1.9 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Culturally Sustaining Pedagogy Essay - What is more important to education. The content or the how the content is taught. Many policy makers today believe that the former is far more crucial to the development of our youth. With high-stakes testing and an entire industry of textbooks and test making, the current system places empirical results over all else. Unfortunately, this approach only helps with the lower levels on the depths of knowledge (DOK) and Bloom’s Taxonomy charts. It only helps with basic recall of facts and knowledge....   [tags: Reality Pedagogy] 712 words
(2 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Consequences for Sustaining a Brain Injury Essay - Consequences for Sustaining a Brain Injury Abstract The consequences for sustaining brain injury of any magnitude can have a life changing effect on the individual and the family. Whether the person is an adult or a child their life changes drastically. There are various types of brain injuries; the one that is in detail in this paper is Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) of any degree. The obstacles a person has to overcome to become rehabilitated are numerous, tedious, and frustrating. The expenses that a person or family have to pay for rehabilitation are tremendous, and many cannot afford the treatments....   [tags: Papers] 1378 words
(3.9 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Confidentiality in Building and Sustaining Relationships Essay - The Data collected may be passed onto interested parties but this must be only the appropriate information. Schools hold lots of information about pupils, staff and parents. Confidentiality A key component for relationship building and sustaining relationships is confidentiality. Confidentiality in any workplace is of utmost importance. It is an important right for every individual. Confidentiality creates trust, respect and shows sensitivity. These qualities are especially important in school as parents, staff and children need to feel safe and secure....   [tags: Economics] 1690 words
(4.8 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Industry Research: Fuel Essay - Fuel taxes also know as a gas or petrol tax. Fuel tax is the sale tax that is imposed on the sale of fuel. The united states often dedicate funds to transportation so that fuel tax will be user free. There are some countries that are considered to be general revenue. The nature of demand for petrol in the short run the tax will be an effective source of revenue, but in the long run it is predicted that people adjust the consumption of petrol, this will take time, people will consume less as prices increase over time....   [tags: Oil Petrol Gas Fuel ] 1959 words
(5.6 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay on Alternative Fuel - Hydrogen can be "packaged" in several ways, as a fuel gas in a H2/02 powered engine or the newly devised solid state pellet of hydrogen isotopes that contains about the equivalent of 5000 cubic feet of hydrogen and is broken down and releases gas into the second chamber where it goes to the engine for use. There are many ways to get pure hydrogen out of many compounds using methods such as electrolysis and chemical reactions. One of the easiest ways is using a chemical reaction. Simple chemicals (aluminum,sodium hydroxide, and water) can be reacted in the home to produce heavy hydrogen to power your furnace or your hot water heater ....   [tags: Hydrogen Fuel H2/02] 429 words
(1.2 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]

The top five oil companies made over thirteen billion dollars profit, with the top company ExxonMobil making an astounding 36.13 billion dollars (Congressional Digest). With these outstanding profits, it is easy to see why oil companies are reluctant to change to the new technology of using ethanol fuel. However, with the introduction of E85 stations, the large oil companies will have no choice but to offer both products or change over to E85 ethanol. The E85 stations will cause loss of business for the oil companies hopefully causing them to change over to the new fuel. One of the most common ways to produce ethanol is using the starches in corn.
Although using corn to make ethanol seems like a good idea, it has many drawbacks as well. Using corn to make ethanol would seem smart because of the vast cornfields that the mid-west is known for. This would make sense to use corn because we grow it in our own country, which would make it easy to access as well as make us less dependent on importing oil. However, when using corn as the primary source to make ethanol, an increase in corn prices is bound to follow. The average vehicle getting 27.5 miles per gallon and traveling ten thousand miles, which are both averages in America, would need about 852 gallons of pure ethanol a year. This amount of ethanol would require eleven acres of land to grow enough corn to make that amount of ethanol. In order to make enough E85 to fuel the entire nation, about 97 percent of the land would be needed to grow crops (Pimentel). This is obviously not possible so other ways to make E85 have been experimented with.
Alcohol is made from the fermenting of different starches and sugars. This leaves many different things that can be broken down and fermented. One example is plants, which have cellulose in them, which can be broken down into sugars and further fermented into alcohol. Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan recognizes the potential for cellulosic ethanol. He states, "Corn ethanol, though valuable, can play only a limited role, because of its ability to displace gasoline is modest at best. But cellulosic ethanol, should fulfill its promise, would help to wean us off our petroleum dependence" (Crooks 2). A large company in Canada called Biomass specializes in making the ethanol fuel from wood stockpiles. The president of Biomass states, "Everything about this process, outside of our pre-treatment process, is known technology. The enzyme production, the fermentation, the distillation, everything is known technology. It's a very simple process" (Kryzanowski). This method opens up agricultural methods to produce ethanol.
Every year lumberyards leave stockpiles of wood chips to decompose naturally. When these piles are used to create ethanol, they can make as much as seventeen thousand gallons per day using twenty-five tons of the waste wood per plant. This ethanol fuel also burns roughly fifty four percent cleaner than pure gasoline does creating less of a pollution concern than oil based fuels (Kryzanowski). This would cause vehicles to create fewer emissions and therefore contribute less to environmental pollution. This cleaner burning would also create less of a concern for the ozone layer and global warming. The ethanol plants that would be built to utilize wood waste would also produce a methane by-product as part of the ethanol creation. This methane by-product can be used as a power source for the plants to create more ethanol when it is harnessed properly (Kryzanowski). This makes the plant even more cost effective when it can run partially on a by-product it produces.
Along with using wood stockpiles, cellulosic alcohol can be made from a tall grass like plant known as switchgrass. This grass is very easily grown and is a promising method due to its high percentage of ethanol yield. It usually creates eighty to ninety gallons of ethanol per ton of switchgrass, which is much higher than that of corn. Along with the higher percentage yield, switchgrass is shown to have three times the energy per gallon as the ethanol made from corn (Crooks 1). The Natural Resources Defense Council estimates that cellulosic alcohol could supply as much as half of the nations fuel by 2030, if the technology is utilized the way it should be. Despite supplying half of the fuel, this would still not affect food or animal feed production (Crooks 1).
By creating different forms of energy for automobiles, the United States can rely less on other countries for their oil supplies that we do not have. Using ethanol fuel by fermenting starches and sugars is not a difficult process and the transition to make an automobile run on ethanol is fairly simple and inexpensive. This process can take over as much as half of the nations fuel supply in less than twenty-five years without affecting food supply. This promise of decreasing our nations demand for crude oil is a tempting one. By decreasing our demand for oil, we lessen our dependence on foreign countries, as well as stop using a non-renewable resource. Along with the decreased dependence on oil, the switch to ethanol would decrease car emissions and pollution. The decrease in pollution would lead to less of a concern for global warming as well as smog in large cities. Ethanol production is an idea that should be considered more by our nation and is a serious alternative to gasoline as a fuel for automobiles as well as any internal combustion engine. Word Count: 1323

Works Cited

Crooks, Anthony. "From Grass to Gas." Rural Cooperatives 73.513 10 2006 16-42. 04 04 2007 .
Kryzanowski, Tony. "From Wood Waste to Ethanol Fuel." Logging and Sawmilling Journal (1998) 26 03 2007 .
Oil Company Profits." Congressional Digest. Academic Search Premier 86.401 04 2007 103-104. 13 04 2007 .
Pimental, David. "Ethanol Fuel from Corn Faulted as ‘Unsustainable Subsidized Food Burning'."Cornell University 16 01 2006. 23 Apr 2007 .

Return to