Using Corn Ethanol as a Fuel Source
Corn Is Ethanol’s Main Source
The ethanol produced from corn is called corn ethanol. It is produced
through chemical processing, distillation and industrial fermentation. Primarily, it is used in the United States
of America as an alternative to petroleum and gasoline. Although it is less efficient in comparison with other
types of ethanol (e.g. sugar cane based), corn ethanol is the most common used ethanol type. The two main types of
this ethanol are dry and milling and these are availed in different ways. Within the drying process, all the corn
kernel in ground right into flour, being referred as “meal”, which is slurred then by adding water. Ammonium
hydroxide is added to ascendance the pH and as a nutritive for the froth, which is added afterwards.
The mixture is refined at high-temperatures to abbreviate the bacterium levels and shifted and
cooled off in fomenters. This is where the froth is added and transition of sugar to ethyl alcohol and carbon
dioxide commences. The process itself takes 40 to 50 hours and during this time, the mash is kept agitated and
cool, in order to alleviate froth activity. After the process, everything is transmitted to distillation columns
wherever the ethyl alcohol is transferred of the “stillage”. The ethanol is dried up to almost two hundred proof,
utilizing a molecular sieve system, as well as denaturants like petrol are added to deliver the product
undrinkable. The process completes with this, and the product becomes ready for transport to petrol retailers.
Regarding its environmental effects, there is a certain amount of greenhouse gas released during
the ethanol production, as well as combustion. As a nutrient (for the crops used in the production), it is
recaptured. Some 75 percent of its production is performed through the dry milling process. The main problem of
traditional grain-based ethanol, though, is the fact that it requires fossil fuels for head production during
conversion process. This brings greenhouse gas emissions. The corn ethanol uses large amounts of water during its
productions. Precisely, for the production of one gallon of this type of ethanol, 1700 gallons of water is
required. This gallon of ethanol also produces twelve extra gallons of sewage. This sewage also must be processed.
The production of sole corn causes extremely large amounts of soil erosion. The corn itself also requires more
herbicides, fertilizers, insecticides in comparison with other grown crop. The fertilizers based on nitrogen have
vast negative environmental impacts and this directly contributes to global warming. An issue, which is also
connected with some other bio fuels, is affiliated with corn production in the regions with rain forests. These
forests are being burned, but some studies assume there is no sequestration if the corn itself is not planted. This
will bring ethanol contribution to global warming even more, if the oil is used where the rainforests, needed for
its production, are destroyed.
There are also some benefits the corn ethanol has. First of all, it is renewable. Further, it
burns much cleaner in comparison with gasoline, as well with other fossil fuels. It emits less carbon dioxide, so
overall; it is certainly great leap towards the greenhouse gases reduction.