Automotive DesignLine Blog
The news about ethanol use is coming fast and furious. We noted GM's partnership with Coskata to produce "environmentally efficient ethanol" in news from last month's Detroit Auto Show. Now comes word that the American Le Mans Series of races will see two teamsCorvette Racing and Aston Martin Racingusing cellulosic E85 ethanol for the coming season. This ethanol will be produced from waste wood, but can be made from other biomass materials. The Indy Racing League began using 100% ethanol last year for its fuel.
The American Le Mans cellulosic ethanol will be supplied by KL Process Design Group from the first operational plant in Upton, Wyoming, a joint venture between the company and several universities. In making the supply announcement, KL quoted an Argonne Lab study claiming cellulosic ethanol reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 85% over reformulated gasoline and produces 80% more energy than is required to grow and convert it.
The energy used to produce ethanol is often cited as one of its drawbacks, but the KL website (link above) provides references and reports about energy balance, green house gas emissions, and other aspects of the debate. Why not go to our Forums page (Thread: $1.99 ethanol and weigh in with your opinion on the use of ethanol, its sources, and how it figures in reducing U.S. energy dependence and harmful emissions?