Ethanol for Earth Day

Cindy Zimmerman

If every car in America would use a ten percent blend of ethanol for one week, the amount of greenhouse gases produced in the U.S. would be reduced by nearly 1.3 billion pounds.

That is according to calculations done by life sciences researcher Nathan Danielson, president of BioCognito.

BioCognito“What we did was take some fairly complex modeling that was done by Argonne National Laboratory and distill it down to where it would mean something to the average consumer,” said Danielson. “We considered if you took E-10, E-85 and cellulosic ethanol and put it in a typical gas tank, what would the impact on the environment be.”

Assuming a car with a 20 gallon gasoline tank, Danielson found that filling up with E10 can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 9.5 pounds per tank.

“Ethanol is just a very good fuel for reducing overall carbon foot print,” Danielson said. “The story gets better if we go to E85. If we get to E85, all the sudden you are sitting at about 90 pounds of carbon dioxide that you’ve removed from the atmosphere by using ethanol instead of gasoline.” Everyone filling their tanks with E85, he says, would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 12.4 billion pounds in one week.

Better still, Danielson says that the same situation using ethanol derived from cellulose could reduce greenhouse gases by 282 pounds per car per week, or 38.5 billion pounds a week if used by every car on the road. He thinks that cellulosic ethanol will be “ready for prime time” within the next 5-7 years.

Joanna Schroeder with the Ethanol Promotion and Information Council says most average consumers can make a difference today by filling up with either E10, which can be used in virtually every gasoline powered car engine in America, or E85 in one of the 6.5 million flex-fuel vehicles on the road today, according to

“The great thing about using ethanol is you don’t have to wait to make an environmental impact,” Schroeder said. “Every single time you fill your tank with an ethanol-enriched fuel, you’re reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”

Cellulosic, Environment, EPIC, Ethanol, News