Sunday, March 1, 2009

Biodiesel and Ethanol Investing

Ethanol Fuel Benefits
  1. Ethanol is a renewable fuel. Renewable fuels are fuels that we can make again and again without depleting valuable resources in the earth. Extracting crude oil from the ground depletes resources from the earth’s crust. The crops we use for ethanol, on the other hand, can be grown, harvested, and grown again every year. This means that we can make ethanol this year, next year, and the year after that by growing corn or other crops. By using renewable fuels, we can preserve the resources that are remaining in the earth - but still get the fuel our economy needs.
  2. Ethanol reduces pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Ethanol contains a higher percentage of oxygen than traditional petroleum-based gasoline. Because of it, Ethanol burns more completely than petroleum-based gasoline, and does not contribute to global warming like burning petroleum-based fuels does. In fact, using ethanol as a motor fuel reduces greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 46%. Using just 10% ethanol in your gas tank reduces greenhouse gas emissions by up to 19%.
  3. Ethanol does not pollute ground water. Because of ethanol’s chemical structure, ethanol phase separates when it comes into contact with water. This makes it very safe for the environment because ethanol is biodegradable. It also means that ethanol will not pollute ground water like many other potential fuel sources could.
  4. Ethanol Is Cheaper To Make Than Gasoline. Ethanol costs about 75 per gallon to make. Gasoline cost about $1.60 per gallon to refine. It only costs about $30 to convert a car to be a flex fuel vehicle, but doing it can save hundreds of gallons of fuel per year.
  5. Ethanol Is Easy To Switch To. Ethanol can use today’s vehicles, today’s fuel distribution infrastructure, and allows us to leverage today’s technologies in order to use these renewable resources. We can blend ethanol with traditional gasoline in grades from E10 to E85. Even hybrid vehicles can run off of ethanol.
  6. Ethanol supports local farmers. Ethanol is produced in local markets from available renewable resources, such as corn and sugar cane. When you purchase ethanol, your money stays nearby, going to local farmers that produced the crops used and the refineries that produced the fuel. But when you buy gasoline, some of each dollar boosts oil companies’ record profits - and the rest goes overseas.
  7. Ethanol reduces our dependence on foreign oil. About 45% of all of American oil consumption is used as gasoline fuel for consumer vehicles. By using ethanol as a substitute and/or additive to petroleum-based gasoline, ethanol helps to reduce regional dependence on imported oil and petroleum products. We import millions of barrels of oil and millions of gallons of refined gasoline every day. By switching to ethanol and ethanol blends, we can continue to grow our economy while reducing our addiction to foreign oil.
  8. Ethanol can be made from nearly anything. Though ethanol was first made decades ago, the technologies used in today’s ethanol industry are still in their infancy. Most of today’s ethanol production is made from corn and sugar. The technology for using waste products, such as unusable portions of crops, to produce cellulosic ethanol is on the horizon - and it will completely revolutionize the way we fuel our cars.

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