Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: April 25, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963893 | Print ISBN: 9781412958783 | Online ISBN: 9781412963893| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Alternative Energy, Ethanol
DeMond S. Miller
WITH INCREASING UNCERTAINTY in the global fuel market, the search for gasoline substitutes is becoming more and more important. One viable option is using ethanol as an alternative fuel, unlike fossil fuels, it is a renewable energy source. There are many chemical compounds that make up ethanol; the molecules contain a hydroxyl group, and are bonded to a Carbon atom. Ethanol that is made from cellulosic biomass instead of the usual starch crops is known as Bioethanol. Ethanol is in a liquid state, and is clear and colorless. As a diluted aqueous solution, it has a somewhat sweet flavor, but in more concentrated solutions, it has a burning taste. The shift toward ethanol-based fuel has positive social, economic, and environmental effects. The combination of better efficiency with cleaner emissions yields makes it a promising future source of fuel. For transportation, ethanol can be blended with petroleum-based gasoline or can be ...