July 1, 2011

Busting the 5 Myths of Ethanol: Myth #3


Most can agree that this spring and summer haven’t necessarily been normal, or least when speaking of Mother Nature. Between flooding along the Missouri to storms wiping out entire communities across the Midwest, we can definitely say that there has been some extreme weather. Some say that the reason for all of this unusual weather is due to climate change. They claim that climate change is being caused by the large amounts of greenhouse gases that are being given off by different industries. Unfortunately, the ethanol industry is one of the industries being associated with the cause of climate change.

This leads us to our third myth, which is that ethanol crops and production emits more greenhouse gases than gasoline. The answer to this myth is FALSE, and that ethanol actually reduces the amount of emissions given off by cars. A study done by the EPA back in 1996 found that gasoline powered vehicles and non-road equipment are actually the largest contributors to air pollution. Another study showed that ethanol actually reduces tailpipe carbon monoxide by as much as 30 percent, while also reducing tailpipe particulate matter emissions by 50 percent.

Not only is the ethanol being burned in cars cleaner than gasoline, but the entire lifecycle of ethanol is much more environmentally friendly than gasoline. A lifecycle analysis of ethanol showed that using ethanol currently and in the future will actually reduce greenhouse gases by more than 20 percent compared to the continuation of using gasoline. However, ethanol is not the only thing reducing CO2 emissions. Studies have shown that growing corn can also help reduce the amount of CO2, as corn uses CO2 to grow.

As a person can tell, ethanol is not contributing to climate change at all. Just by looking at these facts, ethanol is actually helping to slow climate change. So far the three myths we have busted prove that ethanol is not a harmful alternative fuel. These myths also give us more reasons on why we should use more ethanol. So next time you pull into the fuel station, make sure to fill up with ethanol and help reduce our carbon footprint.

Check back on Wednesday, July 6 to bust Myth #4! Until then, visit the Nebraska Corn Board website to learn more about Nebraska's Corn Farmers and ethanol.

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