EnviroCitizen.org would like to begin by asking you, what is green gas exactly? To understand why we should use green gas, we must first understand what green gas really is. In reality, “green gas” is ethanol, which is a form of grain alcohol which is then added to conventional gasoline to make it emit less greenhouse gases. When it is produced in the United States, it is most often made from corn. In other places, it may be made of wheat, barley or—whatever is most abundant.
Though there are many ways to make fuel-grade ethanol, the most popular and common of which is the dry-mill method.
- The corn (or other grain) passes through a grinding meal where it is released as a powder.
- A mixture made of this grain powder, water and an enzyme enters a high-heat cooker where it's liquefied. The enzyme helps to break down the grain compound to aide in this process.
- The liquefied mash is cooled and another enzyme is added to the mix. This enzyme converts the starches into sugars which can be fermented to create alcohol.
- Yeast is added to the sugar mixture to begin the fermentation process. The sugars break down into ethanol (a form of alcohol) and carbon dioxide.
- The fermented mixture is distilled and the ethanol separates from the solids.
- A dehydration process removes excess water from the separated ethanol.
- A small amount of gasoline is added to the ethanol in order to make it undrinkable. All ethanol used as a fuel must be made inedible.
Now that we know what green gas is, why should we use it ?
There are many obvious benefits to using ethanol. It burns extremely quickly due to its high oxygen content and burns cleaner than gasoline alone. It can be added in small amounts to car fuel and can easily reduce greenhouse gases, including carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxides. Argonne National Laboratory reports an approximate 10-ton decrease in greenhouse-gas emissions resulting from the use of ethanol fuel in 2007 alone. Most cars can run on a 10-90 mixture of ethanol and gas. Flexible fuel cars can run on an 85-15 mix which runs extraordinarily cleanly, and further reduces harmful pollution. Unfortunately, only one in 40 cars can run on this mix.
Though ethanol cannot be used excessively as the majority of crops must be used for food rather than fuel, the use of ethanol in additional to fossil fuels can significantly benefit the world. If you are interested in reducing your negative impact on the Earth, EnviroCitizen.org strongly suggests you consider using green gas as an alternative to conventional auto fuel !