When the US Government decided to pass laws requiring cars to burn cleaner gasoline, gas companies started putting MTBE into the gas. MTBE gave gas a higher octane which allows the gas to burn more completely without extra contaminates giving it a cleaner burn. Unfortunately, it was discovered that MTBE was actually bad for people and the environment so the gas companies looked for another solution. Agriculturists suggested ethanol and it was shown that it did the same thing that MTBE did but cleaner so now we use ethanol in our gas.
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