Part of the reason corn ethanol isn’t the perfect replacement for gasoline is the energy it takes to make the ethanol. It takes gasoline to power the machinery, fertilize the soil, spray the corn with pesticides, and cut down the corn. Ethanol was also blamed, according to businessweek.com, for driving up the price of food. Ethanol plants, however, are using 25% less energy than they were 5 or 6 years ago. They could be streamlining and improving productivity, making ethanol a viable and competitve product.
To supplement letusgambol’s excellent answer, there was an article posted on GreenAnswers in May regarding this very issue: http://greenanswers.com/blog/238274/ethanol-good-alternative-gasoline
One of the foremost disadvantages of ethanol fuel is its reduced capacity for energy compared to regular gasoline. While it may cost less to fill your tank, it will not yield the same mileage.
You may also be interested in the article linked in the question below, and the comments regarding it.
Also, if ethanol replaces gasoline, monoculture would only intensify. Much of American farm land is dedicated to growing corn in often harmful ways that erodes the soil, decreases its nutrients, and leads to extensive pollution.
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