Using Ethanol Emits More CO2 than Gasoline ... Alot More ...

The use of Ethanol to fuel automobiles releases more CO2 into the atmosphere than using gasoline for the same miles driven. Gallon for gallon Ethanol has about 80% of the energy of gasoline and emits about 80% of the CO2. So for miles driven it is about equal to gasoline in CO2 emmissions. Of course the real rub is that it takes burning the equvalent of 7-8 gallons of ethanol to make 10 gallons of ethanol. So when you tank up on ethanol you have already emitted 11 pounds of CO2 for every gallon you pump and add that to the 16 pounds per gallon you emit when you drive.

So lets do some back of the envelope math and compare 10 gallons of gasoline with 12.5 gallons of ethanol.
10 gallons of gas = 200 pounds of CO2 (20 pounds per gallon)
12.5 gallons of ethanol plus the 8.75 gallons of ethanol used to make the 12.5 gallons = 340 pounds of CO2 (16 pounds per gallon)

If we look at the raw material for ethanol today, i.e. corn, a food source, we see that we are taking sequestered CO2 and releasing into the atmosphere instead of eating it. So not only are we emitting more CO2, but we are using sequestered CO2 in a useful form and wasting it by not keeping it sequestered.

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