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Major Differences Between Ethanol and Gasoline

For a long time, there has been a debate about ethanol being added to gasoline. Some people still seek out fuel with no ethanol content which is both expensive and harmful. Gasoline is a mixture of several chemicals, some of which are toxic and harmful additions that negatively affect the environment and our overall health. For ethanol blends, there’s been a lot of unsupported myths on the internet, but the truth is entirely different. Ethanol blends are lower cost and a greener alternative that can easily reduce our reliance on aromatics without making any drastic changes.

In the following, we’ll look at the impact ethanol has on gasoline so you can make a “greener” choice.


Aromatics are harmful and toxic while ethanol is clean

Aromatics are a critical element in gasoline as they increase the octane level of the fuel. However, you must know that aromatic compounds like benzene, toluene, and xylene are incredibly toxic for humans. Aromatics also have the capability of lingering in the atmosphere for an extended period of time.

With ethanol, you don’t have to worry about these adverse effects because ethanol is a cleaner fuel additive. Some studies prove that ethanol blends reduce toxic tailpipe emissions by a significant margin.


Ethanol blends are cheaper than aromatic-based regular gasoline

Ethanol is abundant in the United States, which means that it is readily available. Aromatics, however, come from crude oil, and like many other nations, the United States also imports it to meet its demand. In 2018 alone, the United States imported almost 10 million barrels of oil every day. This put a strain on the regular consumer as they had to pay more to fill their tank. Since the production of ethanol is local, the problem of availability becomes a negligible factor. The production process of ethanol also yields useful byproducts, such as distiller’s grains that can be used for animal feeds.


Ethanol is a renewable source

Most commonly, ethanol comes from corn and sugarcane. It’s a natural product that is virtually endless since we can always produce more. On the other hand, gasoline comes from oil, and there is a finite amount of crude oil left in the world that will one day be gone. Just like any oil-based product, aromatics are also carbon-intensive, meaning they have a high carbon footprint, which is bad for the environment.


Key takeaways

The use of ethanol blends is on the rise today because of the numerous benefits they afford. Just like aromatics replaced lead in the past, it’s time for us to understand that aromatic compounds like toluene, benzene, and xylene are negatively affecting our health. It’s high time that a cleaner, more effective additive like ethanol is increased so that our reliance on toxic aromatics can be reduced.