Alcohol – An Alternative Fuel For the Future

Alcohol fuels such as ethanol have recently been touted as cutting-edge, future fuels, clean alternatives to gasoline or diesel. Alcohol is a completely renewable resource, as it can be fermented or chemically extracted from practically any substance containing carbohydrates (most commonly starches or sugars). The use of alcohol as a vehicle fuel could greatly contribute to oil independence in the very near future, but just how ‘green’ is it, as an alternative to petroleum based fuels?

Henry Ford’s first vehicle used an alcohol-powered motor, and Ford envisioned alcohol as the primary vehicle fuel as early as 1925, telling the New York Times that, “The fuel of the future is going to come from fruit … or from apples, weeds, sawdust – almost anything,” he said. “There is fuel in every bit of vegetable matter that can be fermented. There is enough alcohol in one year’s yield of an acre of potatoes to drive the machinery necessary to cultivate the fields for a hundred years.” Although…

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