Ethanol Impact On Your Carbon Footprint

Ethanol Impact On Your Carbon Footprint

If you’re like me, you probably stand at the gas pump and feel good about filling your car’s gas tank with 10% ethanol, made from our country’s corn. It is probably better than pulling petroleum out of the earth, right?

Not necessarily, from a carbon footprint perspective, probably not a big win, if one at all.

10% Ethanol mixed in with gasoline depletes car mileage by 3.3%. Ethanol just generates less power than gasoline. In a way, it is a stealth tax on your car.

Let’s walk through the math. With ethanol mixed in at 10%, if you buy 10 gallons of gasoline at the pump and your car delivers 25 mpg, because of lower energy from ethanol, instead of getting 250 miles of transportation from the fill-up, you’re getting short-changed by 8.5 miles. When’s the last time you were stranded that far from your destination?

Math: At 10% mixture, that’s 9 gallons of pure gasoline, one gallon of ethanol. Each of the nine gallons delivers 25 mpg, but the one gallon of ethanol, delivers a third less, only 16.5 mpg. (9 x 25)+(1×16.5)= 241.5

Ethanol delivers lower mileage per gallon of gasoline. According to the Smarter Fuel Future.

Now, it is a matter of figuring out the CO2 output of gasoline versus ethanol. Stay tuned for that story.

Almost all of the gasoline sold in the United States today contains 10 percent ethanol (E10), which contains a third less energy than gasoline. As a result, each gallon of gasoline delivers lower mileage, forcing drivers to spend more money on fuel by the mile and more importantly, in the long run, enlarging your lifetime’s carbon footprint. Check out other ethanol carbon fast facts: Water consumption of ethanol production

Some other impacts of focusing so much crop land to corn production for bio fuels, see the info chart below.

Ethanol delivers lower mileage per gallon of gasoline


About the author

Moose Mosely

Moose, (yes, that's his everyday name - at least as far as we know), writes about all sorts of green living insights. Every minute, every decision we make in our lives has some impact to our personal carbon footprint, and Moose is there to share some insights on its impact and relevance and suggests healthier alternatives.