First of all, adding ethanol to gasoline is controversial because it results in reduced gas mileage. Gasoline in which ethanol has been added has also been known to cause problems if it sits around for more than 2 months, which is a particular concern with machines such as boats and lawnmowers. Ethanol can also easily dissolve and dry out certain engine parts, particularly on older cars. It can also clean accumulated gunk from the engine, allowing it to circulate throughout the engine and clog it.
To add to valeriec5’s answer: from a long-term perspective, creating plant-based biofuels like ethanol requires too much farmland to be sustainable. Also, some experts, including Cornell agriculture professor David Pimental, actually argue that the intensive process of producing ethanol actually creates a net energy loss.
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