What is ethanol?
Ethanol can be chemically defined as a colorless, flammable, relatively hazardous chemical compound, which happens to have a rather distinctive incense-like odor. Normally, ethanol can be found in alcoholic beverages and or produced naturally by the body. On the molecular level, its chemical formula can be seen as C2H5OH.
In Brazil , ethanol has been utilized to generate enough energy to power vehicles. This is accomplished through the burning of hydrated ethanol (a combination of ethanol with a concentration of 93% and 7% water). Identified as a oxygenate additive and a subsequent substitute for substances like methyl t- butyl ether (MTBE), ethanol can be rather difficult to obtain from groundwater. When compared to the burning of fossil fuels, the use of ethanol appears to react fairly cleanly with oxygen. However, in the process of doing so, produces emissions of carbon dioxide and water. In fact, a recent study of the substance indicates that equal emissions of carbon dioxide can be observed- when compared to the use of coal and or natural gas- while on the contrary, ethanol results in lesser amounts of carbon monoxide emissions.
Controversial Issue at Hand:
Though available, in the sense of its abundance in the nature, a major setback troubling researchers regarding the usage of ethanol is its detrimental affects on the environment. In fact, during a study completed in 2002, scientists have noted that ethanol plants release fairly large amounts of VOC's (volatile organic compounds) then originally thought. Not to mention Fidel Castro's perspective on the topic. As opposed to utilizing the crops as a means for fuel, Castro intends to reduce poverty and thus, in order to do so, the corn crops should simply be recognized as food. Hence, his views along with the consequences of using such a resource are still being discussed at the moment.