countries are either producing and using ethanol in large
quantities or are providing incentives to expand ethanol production
and use. Brazil and Sweden are using large quantities of ethanol
as a fuel. Some Canadian provinces promote ethanol use as
a fuel by offering subsidies of up to 45 cents per gallon
India is initiating the use of ethanol as an automotive fuel.
A move has been made by distilleries in India to use surplus
alcohol as a blending agent or an oxygenate in gasoline. Based
on experiments by the Indian Institute of Petroleum, a 10
percent ethanol blend with gasoline and a 15 percent ethanol
blend with diesel are being considered for use in vehicles
in at least one state.
In France, ethanol is produced from
grapes that are of insufficient quality for wine production.
Prompted by the increase in oil prices in the 1970s, Brazil
introduced a program to produce ethanol for use in automobiles
in order to reduce oil imports. Brazilian ethanol is made
mainly from sugar cane. Pure ethanol (100% ethanol) is used
in approximately 40 percent of the cars in Brazil. The remaining
vehicles use blends of 24 percent ethanol with 76 percent
gasoline. Brazil consumes nearly 4 billion gallons of ethanol
annually. In addition to consumption, Brazil also exports
ethanol to other countries.
Sweden has used ethanol in chemical
production for many years. As a result, Sweden’s crude oil
consumption has been cut in half since 1980. During the same
time period, the use of gasoline and diesel for transportation
has also increased. Emissions have been reduced by placing
catalytic converters in vehicle exhaust systems which decrease
carbon monoxide, hydrocarbon, and nitrogen oxide emissions.
To address global warming concerns, the amount of carbon dioxide
produced while burning fossil fuels must be reduced. Ethanol-blended
gasoline and ethanol-blended diesel are being considered as
viable alternatives to further lower emission levels.