Law mandating ethanol use
Oil and fertilizer prices, perceptions about oil dependence and greenhouse gas emissions can also influence the debate over the effects of using a food crop for fuel.But in essence, ethanol mandates compound the many environmental effects of industrial-scale corn production.The energy content of denaturant is about equal to the energy content of pure gasoline. In general, vehicle fuel economy may decrease by about 3% when using E10 relative to gasoline that does not contain fuel ethanol. The ethanol content of most of the motor gasoline sold in the United States does not exceed 10% by volume.Most motor gasoline with more than 10% fuel ethanol content is sold in the Midwest where most ethanol production capacity is located.
But as scientists began to notice the toxic legacy of lead additives to gasoline and then the noxious nature of lead’s successors (like MTBE), ethanol soon became the preferred gasoline additive.The bill was designed to improve fuel economy in vehicles, improve energy efficiency and save energy in buildings.Once signed into law, a renewable fuel standard was also established, mandating 4.7 billion gallons of biofuels to be blended into the fuel supply.Other anti-knocking agents, like MTBE, can contaminate groundwater.
The current rules tend to favor ethanol as the additive to improve more efficient combustion.
Learn more: Ethanol Fuel Basics Fuel ethanol overview (Table 10.3).