The Ethanol Papers - Paperturn manuscript - Flipbook - Page 31
David Blume explains and demonstrates the Model T –
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The second obstacle was the First World War. Although the war ignited the
need for mechanical innovation, the innovations were primarily used for military
purposes. Had the war not occurred, higher compression engines in consumer
automobiles would have been introduced, and these engines would have required greater quantities of anti-knock ethanol.
The third obstacle was National Prohibition. With the war out of the way, and
the public ready to roar into the Roaring '20s, ethanol was eliminated from the
scene; and nothing can kill competition like a law banning one of the two competitors.
In the early 1920s, ethanol still had its supporters in the top industry scientists
of the day, including those at General Motors, the world's largest automobile
manufacturer. Ethanol was the only solution to engine knock. However, after
the GM scientists invented leaded gasoline (using tetraethyl-lead), and combined their patents with Standard Oil and Dupont Chemical, the world's two
largest companies in their respective industries, the prospect of billions of dollars in profits from leaded gasoline put aside any consideration of ethanol-gasoline blends in America.
In countries that did not have Prohibition, such as Great Britain, ethanol did
compete successfully for many years. In fact, Standard Oil (and its derivative
companies) marketed ethanol and ethanol-gasoline blends in those countries,
advertising them as superior to leaded or unleaded gasoline. "The Forbidden