Ethanol Effects on the Environment Essay

1264 Words Feb 25th, 2012 6 Pages
Mankind has relied on non-renewable resources for thousands of years, and only recently has it started to take its toll on the environment. Chemists have been experimenting with different types of fuels and adding to gasoline to make it more efficient. This is when ethanol made its debut into the fuel industry, as an additive to gasoline. Ethanol is put into gas as a combatant against water, which can find its way into fuel tanks of vehicles. It reduces the effect that this water has on the health of the vehicle, and as a result increases gas mileage, and also increases the amount of complete combustion. Ethanol consumption has severe drawbacks pertaining to its effect on the environment. Production of ethanol increases the formation of …show more content…
When growing crops, the plants are given a nitrogen fertilizer, and nitrous oxide is created. The soil and the water in the ground take the nitrogen from the fertilizer and convert it to nitrous oxide as an end product. By using more fertilizers for the growing, demand for ethanol crops will cause a large imbalance in the nitrogen cycle, which releases nitrous oxide. This is a powerful greenhouse gas. As a result it would increase the world’s temperatures, due to the greenhouse effect. Even though ethanol does not have more emissions when it is burned, that does not mean it has a smaller carbon footprint.

Ethanol is a large contributor to air pollution, and the environment suffers as a result. Air pollution comes from many different sources, from factories, transportation, residential areas, and agriculture. Ethanol use is adding to the amount of air pollution, emitting more than just carbon dioxide. Air contamination is a serious problem for big cities, and it is beginning to be a problem in towns. Air pollution is quite harmful to the environment. It causes acid rain, destroying many ecosystems. It worsens the global warming trends, and it creates ground level ozone. It is also bad for our health, causing all kinds of breathing issues, as well as heart and lung illnesses; and ethanol is contributing to these issues and making them worse. Smog has been an increasing concern since the demand of ethanol has boomed. Volatile organic compounds

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