Ethanol Fuel Problems

Eleanor Hanson

From the day that we realize that we are slowly killing the planet, we have been tirelessly finding ways to replace the traditional methods of harvesting energy from energy sources with alternatives. Until now, mankind is still searching for the most effective ways to find alternative energy sources. This has resulted to the recent usage of solar energy, wind energy, hydro energy, geothermal energy and others.

The focus today is to replace the conventional fuel with another alternative that would efficiently run engines but would emit less pollution. They have found it on bio ethanol, a substance taken from sugar cane and other crops. This type of fuel burns but doesn’t produce carbon gases unlike the conventional fuel that is why they believe this to be the perfect solution to the problem. However, like most alternative energy source, it has a downside that is still a problem. Here are some of the known problems with ethanol fuel:

1. To produce large amounts of fuel to supply the gigantic demand of fuel by consumers, they need a large amount of crops and I’m talking about gigantic amounts. Unlike fossil fuel which is abundantly flowing, ethanol depends on the number of crops that are planted and this means that they need to plant more areas of land to meet the demand of fuel. This would mean that there would be fewer crops for feeds which would lead to price hikes in food and the destruction of the natural balance in nature. This is due to the conversion of their supposed habitat into crop fields, which is a bad idea.

2. The crops that are used for producing ethanol are the same crops that are used for feeding animals that provides us with the meat that we need. So if the vast majority of all these crops are diverted to ethanol fuel production, there would be a shortage of feeds and this would result to a higher price for meat. They won’t be able to produce as much meat as they used to so they would raise the prices higher.

3. Ethanol production needs a large number of crops to produce just the right amount of ethanol fuel. The ratio is like 1: 100 or something like that. Therefore, producers would need more lands to cover to plant crops. And where else would they get those lands? Lands that are unoccupied by humans. However, this is also home to some animals and taking it away from them spells disaster. The balance in the ecosystem of that place would definitely be disrupted thus, giving more pain to the environment rather than helping it.

With all of these said and done, we can’t rule out the fact that ethanol fuel is still one of the best possible options in the search for alternative fuel sources. We just have to find a loophole or a run around these problems to pursue it. We have seen ethanol fuel in action and we know it is effective and clean. So we better find ways.

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