Disadvantages of fossil fuel derived transportation fuels (greenhouse gas emissions,
pollution, resource depletion, unbalanced supply-demand relations) are strongly
reduced or even absent with biotransportation fuels. Of all biofuels, ethanol is
already produced on a fair scale. It produces slightly less greenhouse emissions than
fossil fuel (carbon dioxide is recycled from the atmosphere to produce biomass);
can replace harmful fuel additives (e.g., methyl tertiary butyl ether) and produces
jobs for farmers and refinery workers. It is easily applicable in present day internal
combustion engine vehicles (ICEVs), as mixing with gasoline is possible. Ethanol
is already commonly used in a 10 % ethanol/90 % gasoline blend. Adapted ICEVs
can use a blend of 85 % ethanol/15 % gasoline (E85) or even 95 % ethanol (E95).
Ethanol addition increases octane and reduces carbonmonoxide, volatile organic car-
bon and particulate emissions of gasoline. And, via on board reforming to hydrogen,
cthanol is also suitable for use in future fuel cell vehicles (FCVs). Those vehicles are
supposed to have about double the current ICEV fuel efficiency.
Ethanol production and use has spread to every corner of the globe. As con-
cerns over petroleum supplies and global warming continue to grow, more nations
are looking to ethanol and renewable fuels as a way to counter oil dependency
and environmental impacts. World production reached an all-time high of nearly
23 billion gallons in 2010 and is expected to exceed 1,20,000 million mark by
the end of the year 2020. While the US became the world's largest producer of
fuel ethanol in 2010. Brazil remains a close second, and China. India. Thailand
and other nations are rapidly expanding their own domestic ethanol industries.
Increased production and use of ethanol have also led to a growing international
trade for the renewable fuel. While the vast majority of ethanol is consumed in
the country in which it is produced, some nations are finding it more profitable to
export ethanol to countries like the US and Japan. High spot market prices for eth-
anol and the rapid elimination of MTBE by gasoline refiners led to record imports
into the US in the last few years. More than 500 million gallons of ethanol entered
through American ports, paid the necessary duties, and competed effectively in the
marketplace. The increased trade of ethanol around the world is helping to open
up new markets for all sources of ethanol.