The use of ethyl alcohol as an automotive fuel is seen by many as a solution to the gasoline shortage. Gasohol, a mixture of 90% gasoline and 10% alcohol which can be used in unmodified gasoline engines, is the form in which proponents of alcohol fuels place their immediate hopes. They argue that it would reduce imports of foreign oil, improve the nation's balance of trade, raise farm income, relieve grain surpluses while reducing farm subsidies and help convert the nation from fossil to renewable sources of energy. These hopes have inspired a number of recent initiatives by the White House and Congress to encourage the production and use of gasohol, especially that produced from grain rather than from waste products. However, many economists believe that fermenting corn to fuel alcohol is not economically viable under almost any foreseeable price conditions without a sizeable government susidy. Furthermore, with current technology, it takes more oil to produce and ferment corn than is saved by using the resultant alcohol as fuel. However, other source materials such as cellulose which is now the object of continuing research may prove more practical as the price of oil increases; and the grass roots sentiment in favor of alcohol fuel may inspire other new developments.

  • Availability:
  • Corporate Authors:

    American University

    Development Education and Training Research Institute
    Washington, DC  United States 
  • Publication Date: 1979-6-1

Media Info

  • Pagination: p. 928-929
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00195618
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Aug 28 1979 12:00AM