Ethanol as an Alternative Car Fuel

Process information from secondary sources to summarise the use of ethanol as an alternative car fuel, evaluating the success of current usage


  • There are both advantages and disadvantages of the use of ethanol as an alternative fuel in general.
  • Ethanol can be used as a ‘petrol extender’ in car engines without engine modification in concentrations of up to 24%.
  • The use of ethanol as a petrol extender causes greater engine wear.
  • To use pure ethanol in car engines, modification would be required.
  • In the 1970s and 1980s, Brazil adopted ethanol as it main car fuel, with sugar cane being grown specifically for ethanol production.
  • Brazil aimed to both reduce consumption of non-renewable petroleum and create a locally produced fuel market, although extreme expenses caused the project to be abandoned.
  • In Australia, many fuels contain a certain amount of ethanol, usually about 10%.


Historical trend of ethanol productivity (from sugarcane) in Brazil



Ethanol storage tanks in Brazil


Ethanol used in a 10% blend in the US

Easychem - Ethanol as an Alternative Car Fuel



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