Ethanol is a biofuel added to gasoline to help reduce greenhouse emissions. It combusts with oxygen to form carbon dioxide, water and aldehydes. Gasoline produces the equivalent of 2.44 kg/L of CO2, while ethanol produces 1.94 kg/L. Ethanol is considered a renewable resource since it comes from plants, which need sun and water to grow, since it comes from corn. Most cars in U.S. have a gasoline blend of up to %10 ethanol.
Ethanol oxygenates the gasoline, helping it burn more efficiently and consequently creating less harmful tailpipe emissions. The Clean Air Act of 1990 required that gasoline be oxygenated for the cleaner emissions, but at the time methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE) was the chemical of choice due to its low cost. However, MTBE was found to be a carcinogenic groundwater pollutant in 1995, causing states to ban its use and ethanol became the replacement.
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