Ethanol as a fuel for road transportation

May 2009

The past few years have seen a veritable explosion in the advocacy and use of bioethanol as a fuel in the industrialized world. In a remarkable way this cause, as it has almost become, seems to transcend normal political divisions, appealing both to environmental concerns over global warming and promising oil‐importing countries a greater independence from oil‐exporting ones.
Seeing that the ‘hydrogen society’ has yet to materialize, bioethanol seems, until then, to be a possible way of dealing with the rise in both oil prices and CO2‐emissions. The subject of bioethanol, has been the subject of much discussion, research and  development the recent years and the literature is abundant. There are several other  reports and reviews of ethanol studies seen from various perspectives, and the view of  these are incorporated where it is found appropriate. This report is based on scientific  articles and literature on the subject, using source  such as the UN, the United States  Department Of  Energy (US  DOE) and the International Energy Agency (IEA), as well  as technical papers published by the Society of Automotive Engineers. This leaves the  risk of obtaining a ‘main stream’ perspective but to counter that, the views of many  debate forums and conference presentations, have been considered as well. Generally  discussions on the topic of ethanol seems subject to a lot of ‘half truths’ and it is the  hope of the authors of this report, to provide a report based on technically sound  argumentation and differentiation on which proper decisions can be made.

By: U. Larsen, T. Johansen, J. Schramm (DTU)

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