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Ethanol vs. MTBE

  • Drunk on Ethanol by Ted Williams, Audubon, Aug 2004.
    "Ethanol separates from gasoline when it encounters moisture in pipes and storage tanks; so unlike gasoline oxygenated with MTBE, gasohol cannot pass through existing pipelines. Instead, ethanol—which costs three and a half times as much as gasoline to produce and yields 20 percent less energy—must be shipped separately and mixed on-site. And because ethanol evaporates so rapidly, it can be added only to a special and expensive 'blendstock' of gasoline."
    "In addition to showing that there are 'no environmental benefits' to ethanol, science clearly shows that there are enormous environmental costs. For example, the general use of ethanol significantly increases air pollution. Ethanol evaporates faster than gasoline. So while gasoline reformulated with ethanol may release less carbon monoxide, it releases more volatile organic compounds, hydrocarbons, and nitrogen oxides."