You will find corn ethanol in many fuel products around the world today. This biofuel is added to reduce the amount of fossil fuels that are consumed and 70% of fossil fuels go to transportation needs. Should we be using this fuel like we are? Using it more? Or should we eliminate it completely?
Here is a look at the pros and cons of corn ethanol.
The Pros of Corn Ethanol
1. It reduces the carbon impact on the environment.
Corn ethanol is created using biomass materials, so when they are burned, it doesn’t leave the same impact that burning fossil fuels does. This could, in turn, lessen the impact of global warming.
2. It is a completely renewable resource.
Corn can be grown every year, but fossil fuels are a finite resource. There might be trillions of barrels of oil in reserve and centuries of coal that can be burned, but one day those resources will run out.
3. The fuel is more efficient.
Although corn ethanol doesn’t have the same mileage as traditional fuels, it does burn more efficiently. This allows people to ultimately be more productive with their machinery because they can use it more effectively.
The Cons of Corn Ethanol
1. It drives up the price of food products.
With more corn being used for fuel than for food, it creates higher food prices for everyone. Subsidies are in place to reduce this impact in some regions, but subsidies are funded by taxpayers, so the higher costs are still coming out of pocket.
2. It turns croplands into fuel production lands.
It is estimated that 1 billion people in the world right now don’t have enough to eat. We’re using croplands to produce corn for ethanol when that land could be used to create food products for hungry people.
3. The distribution network for corn ethanol is inadequate.
In the US, the distribution network doesn’t have nationwide access for this fuel. This means that we cannot accurately study the national impact of using this fuel because not everyone is burning it.
Corn ethanol is certainly a tempting fuel. Even Henry Ford contemplated using it for his automobiles. It reduces carbon monoxide emissions by up to 30%. By evaluating all of the pros and cons of this biofuel, we’ll be able to determine if increasing or decreasing production is the right choice to make.
Crystal Lombardo is a contributing editor for Vision Launch. Crystal is a seasoned writer and researcher with over 10 years of experience. She has been an editor of three popular blogs that each have had over 500,000 monthly readers.