The Ethanol Papers - Paperturn manuscript - Flipbook - Page 106
The great significance in all this is that before our modern Ethanol Renaissance (and production of vehicles with "ethanol-compatible components" starting in the 1990s) tens of thousands of vehicles... sorry, make that hundreds of
thousands of vehicles... no, I mean millions of vehicles in Europe, the Americas,
and Asia were powered by fuels that contained ethanol. On top of that, we have
to assume other internal combustion engine devices (lawnmowers, chain saws,
stationary machines) throughout the world used ethanol-gasoline blends at one
time or another.
With all these millions of engines using ethanol-gasoline blends, where are all
the newspaper/magazine reports of ethanol causing engine damage? Where
are all the stories from the 1920s, 30's, 40's, 50's, and 60's screaming about
ethanol corroding engine parts? Where are all the stories about ethanol causing
less power and fewer miles per gallon? How could there not be hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands of published complaints that singled out ethanol as
Of course, there wouldn't have been such stories sponsored by the oil companies since they were promoting the ethanol-gasoline blends as a superior fuel,
but what about all know-it-all ethanol-haters who nowadays haunt and troll
every publication and media outlet they can find with ethanol-horror stories.
Surely there must have been empty-headed know-it-alls in those days insisting
that because of ethanol's lower BTU values that it must deliver less power.
Where are all the published stories about how ethanol corroded the rubber,
plastic, and metals used in the engines and fuel systems?* (Incidentally, in all
the years up to the 1980's that the petroleum oil companies sold ethanol-gasoline they weren't "forced" to do it, there were no "ethanol mandates." They did
it because it was the right thing to do. They did it because they knew that ethanol
added power, cleaned the engines, emitted less pollution, and was the least
expensive way to mitigate engine knock.)
A Remarkable Revelation
Well, a newly published report from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory
(NREL) sheds some light on this subject, and at the same time throws some
shade (as the young people say) on a possible suspect for the modern complaints against ethanol. Can you guess who that suspect is?
If you said "petroleum oil producers and blenders" you win a kewpie doll. Imagine, the oil industry causing the very same problems that they blame on ethanol;
ain't that a kick in the head?