Ethanol in gasoline: environmental impacts and sustainability review article
This study concerns the use of ethanol as a gasoline (petrol) additive, at levels around 10% by volume ('E10') as well as an 85% blend ('E85'). By detailed reviews of the peer-reviewed and technical literature, five environmental aspects of ethanol enrichment are examined: (1) its purported reduction in air pollutant emissions; (2) its potential impact on subsurface soils and groundwater; (3) its purported reduction in greenhouse gas emissions; (4) the energy efficiency of ethanol; and (5) the overall sustainability of ethanol production. The study indicates that E10 is of debatable air pollution merit (and may in fact increase the production of photochemical smog); offers little advantage in terms of greenhouse gas emissions, energy efficiency or environmental sustainability; and will significantly increase both the risk and severity of soil and groundwater contamination. In contrast, E85 offers significant greenhouse gas benefits, however it will produce significant air pollution impacts, involves substantial risks to biodiversity, and its groundwater contamination impacts and overall sustainability are largely unknown.
Volume (Year): 9 (2005)
Issue (Month): 6 (December)
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