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Title: Alcohol fuels: a critical analysis. [Social, environmental, and economic impacts]

Abstract

High oil prices and an American addiction to automobiles have brought increasing acceptance and endorsement of gasohol, a mixture of 10 percent alcohol and 90 percent gasoline. Steps in the California legislature and elsewhere to commercialize pure alcohol for vehicle use have led some farmers to distill tractor fuels from agricultural wastes, preferring this to selling their crops at a loss as food. The potential social and environmental impacts of alcohol-fueled cars are examined. Large quantities of water are required for biomass cultivation and fermentation, while soils would lose their nutrients and erode from the harvesting of marginal plants. Competition for land between food and fuel producers and higher transportation costs would raise the price of both land and its products. Other problems will develop because of government policies detrimental to the small farmer, the costs of large-scale operation, and the toxicity of methanol. The question of net energy loss indicates that alcohol fermentation is best suited if locally produced and consumed. 43 references.

Authors:
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
6145671
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 6145671
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Journal Name:
People and Energy; (United States)
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 5:2
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
29 ENERGY PLANNING, POLICY AND ECONOMY; 09 BIOMASS FUELS; 10 SYNTHETIC FUELS; ALCOHOL FUELS; COMMERCIALIZATION; SYNTHETIC FUELS INDUSTRY; AUTOMOTIVE FUELS; BIOMASS; ECONOMIC IMPACT; ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS; SOCIAL IMPACT; ENERGY SOURCES; FUELS; INDUSTRY; RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCES; SYNTHETIC FUELS 295000* -- Energy Planning & Policy-- Hydrogen & Synthetic Fuels; 090122 -- Hydrocarbon Fuels-- Preparation from Wastes or Biomass-- (1976-1989); 090200 -- Alcohol Fuels-- (-1989); 090210 -- Alcohol Fuels-- Properties-- (1976-1989); 530100 -- Environmental-Social Aspects of Energy Technologies-- Social & Economic Studies-- (-1989)

Citation Formats

Holzman, D. Alcohol fuels: a critical analysis. [Social, environmental, and economic impacts]. United States: N. p., 1979. Web.
Holzman, D. Alcohol fuels: a critical analysis. [Social, environmental, and economic impacts]. United States.
Holzman, D. Thu . "Alcohol fuels: a critical analysis. [Social, environmental, and economic impacts]". United States.
@article{osti_6145671,
title = {Alcohol fuels: a critical analysis. [Social, environmental, and economic impacts]},
author = {Holzman, D.},
abstractNote = {High oil prices and an American addiction to automobiles have brought increasing acceptance and endorsement of gasohol, a mixture of 10 percent alcohol and 90 percent gasoline. Steps in the California legislature and elsewhere to commercialize pure alcohol for vehicle use have led some farmers to distill tractor fuels from agricultural wastes, preferring this to selling their crops at a loss as food. The potential social and environmental impacts of alcohol-fueled cars are examined. Large quantities of water are required for biomass cultivation and fermentation, while soils would lose their nutrients and erode from the harvesting of marginal plants. Competition for land between food and fuel producers and higher transportation costs would raise the price of both land and its products. Other problems will develop because of government policies detrimental to the small farmer, the costs of large-scale operation, and the toxicity of methanol. The question of net energy loss indicates that alcohol fermentation is best suited if locally produced and consumed. 43 references.},
doi = {},
journal = {People and Energy; (United States)},
number = ,
volume = 5:2,
place = {United States},
year = {1979},
month = {2}
}