Does Ethanol in Fuel Make Vehicle Emissions Less Harmful?


The Health Impacts of Ethanol Blend Petrol (16 page pdf, Tom Beer, John Carras, David Worth, Nick Coplin, Peter K. Campbell, Bin Jalaludin, Dennys Angove, Merched Azzi, Steve Brown, Ian Campbell, Martin Cope, Owen Farrell, Ian Galbally, Stephen Haiser, Brendan Halliburton, Robert Hynes, David Jacyna, Melita Keywood, Steven Lavrencic, Sarah Lawson, Sunhee Lee, Imants Liepa, James McGregor, Peter Nancarrow, Michael Patterson, Jennifer Powell, Anne Tibbett, Jason Ward, Stephen White, David Williams and Rosemary Wood, Energies, 4(2), 352-367, Feb. 21, 2011)
Today’s review article from Australia compares the health impact, in terms of tail pipe emissions, from unleaded gas to fuel which has 5 and 10% ethanol. While the benefits of ethanol additive outweighs the negative impacts of particulate matter, as modern fleets reduce the amount of PM emissions the gap narrows. Overlooked or beyond the scope of this article is the impact of emissions in terms of greenhouse gas emissions which in turn is associated with greater health impacts from climate change. Some research indicates that ethanol blended fuel is less efficiently used by combustion engines than regular fuel which would indicate perhaps that such blends also have a negative health impact. A more holistic assessment is needed to resolve this question.

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