Thursday, March 29, 2007

Ethanol As An Alternative

Ethanol fuel is changing our lives and changing the economy in ways no one anticipated before, with energy costs rising every day, there has been an increased interest in ethanol fuel. Ethanol is a variety of alcohol that can be produced in a natural fashion, similar to the way in which alcoholic beverages are produced. Ethanol can be used by itself in some specially designed vehicles, but it can also be used as a fuel additive, stretching traditional fuels in times of economic or environmental hardship. Ethanol is used today by more people ever before, simply because of the cheap alternative to the soaring gas prices.

Using ethanol fuel as an alternative to gas does require motorists to get a special ethanol kit and install it in their cars, but since gas prices have been unstable in the last years many people feel that making that kind of investment will prove financially profitable in the future.

Ethanol fuel that is derived from crops has advantages over traditional fossil fuels. The ethanol fuel is obtained from the sugars and starches in crops like corn and grains. It also burns cleaner than petroleum based fuels due to its chemical composition, alleviating some of the strain placed on the environment by exhaust emissions. The increased consumption of corn for ethanol use has already started to affect the corn farms projections of yearly crops.

Blended ethanol fuel has proven to be an effective source of energy for several parts of the country, as well as other parts of the globe. E10 is a typical mixture. It is common in the Midwestern United States. Many other countries around the world start to consider using ethanol instead of regular fuel, Denmark for example, has also begun using this type of ethanol fuel. It appears to be doing well, though its use is not as extensive as many of its proponents had hoped it would be. There is still a long way for ethanol to become a natural option for fuel, the United States had used ethanol fuel for less than one percent of its gasoline needs in the year 2002.

The other big issue surrounding ethanol is the environmental issue, it is still not absolutely clear that ethanol is in fact environment friendly, and whether the environmental aspects of ethanol fuel are as good as they have been previously described by the supporters of ethanol fuel use. The growing concern is that while the use of ethanol by itself may be good for the environment, the resources and work done to provide the production of the ethanol could be potentially dangerous for the forests, rainforests and areas where the corn and other ethanol producing resources are being grown. While it is true that the fuel can be made from renewable resources there is evidence that some rainforests are actually being cleared to make space for crops that are used in the production of ethanol. As the controversy regarding the production of ethanol and its dangers, it is very clear that this alternative source of energy is becoming more and more popular.

By: Simon Oldmann -

Article Directory:

Simon Oldmann is an avid writer and a green activist, he has been writing about Ethanol use since the growing popularity of">Ethanol these last years, Simon writes for

Mike Cook - The Saucy Car

I’m in the market for a new car. It doesn’t have to be fancy or have all the latest frills and gizmos; it doesn’t even have to be brand new. I’m a man of plain tastes…mainly because I can’t afford otherwise. The most important requirement in my next car is that it not be saucy like my last one. What’s that? You’ve never heard of a saucy car? Well let me tell you about one.

The first time I noticed my car was saucy I was driving to town when a loud, rapid clicking noise started coming from the engine. When I got to town I took it to a garage and asked them to have a look at the car. When the mechanic started the car, not only was there no noise, the engine never sounded better.

The mechanic poked and prodded the engine for a few minutes and said the car appeared fine. I insisted as there had been a noise something must have caused it. He then gave me a long list of things that might have caused the noise. While he did this I nodded my head, smiled or grunted in what I thought were the appropriate places and scratched my head thoughtfully. The truth was, for all I understood he might as well have been speaking Greek or Chinese.

This happened several more times with the same result. After one of these frustrating times I drove home, parked the car in the driveway, got out of it and walked around to the front of the car and stared thoughtfully into its headlights for some time. It winked at me! The saucy thing actually winked at me! I ran into the house, got my digital camera, came back out, and dared it to wink at me again. It did. Bold as brass it winked at me. I snapped the picture and raced back to the garage to show them.

“Cars don’t wink,” said the mechanics at the garage when I told them what had happened and tried to show them the picture.

“This one bloody well does!” I all but screamed while clutching the overalls of the nearest mechanic. We argued back and forth like this for several minutes, while I became increasingly agitated because they wouldn’t believe me and kept telling me there was nothing wrong with the car. I was invited to leave the premises. I reluctantly accepted their invitation because it was my understanding that if I didn’t some kind of authoritative persons would take me in hand.

When I got home and was standing in front of the car glaring at it, not only did it wink again but a sly grin appeared on its bug-specked face. Of all the gall!

As you may imagine this state of affairs bothered me to the point where I couldn’t sleep at night. I would hide behind the curtains staring out at the car wondering what it would do next. If it caught sight of me it would give me a saucy wink and a sly grin. This went on for a week. Then one night I heard it chuckle. The impudent devil was laughing at me! This was too much! I had endured enough.

I snatched a heavy splitting maul from the basement, sharp on one end and blunt on the other. Then I went out to the car and went up one side of it and down the other pounding away with the maul with first the blunt end and then with the sharp end. When I finished with it in the morning I had it towed to the garage where I said, “Now there’s something wrong with it. Fix it!” I turned around and pointed to the car and I’ll be damned if it didn’t give me a sly grin. I turned back to the mechanics and said, “Don’t tell me you guys didn’t see that!” That is exactly what they did tell me.

As I was led away to the hospital for observation I looked over my shoulder to see the saucy beggar give me a goodbye wink.

© Mike Cook 2007

from here