Ethanol and air quality: New research shows health benefits


Ethanol blends used in transport reduce harmful emissions, including dangerous particulate matter from automobile tailpipes, new research shows.

study conducted by the University of California Riverside and University of Wisconsin has found that on a per mile basis, the reduction of PM due to increasing amounts of ethanol was highly correlated with reducing health concerns. According to researchers, higher ethanol blends such as E30 and E78 fuels had a consistent and dramatic decline in emissions that cause inflammation and oxidative stress, two key contributors to diseases such as asthma and heart disease. In addition, the higher ethanol blends reduced the emissions of carbon monoxide, NOx and total hydrocarbons.

“The results of this study continue to validate the variety of health and environmental benefits of ethanol blends. PM emissions are some of the most toxic emissions coming from the tailpipe and connected with causing a host of health and pollution problems. The fact that simply adding more ethanol to gasoline can reduce emissions and improve public health is a story that every driver needs to hear,” said Urban Air Technical Director Steve Vander Griend.

In Europe all petrol sold for automobile use is at least E5, and in many countries the standard blend is E10. France also has seen the growing popularity of E85, which can be used in flex-fuel vehicles and in standard petrol vehicles that have been fitted with a simple conversion box.

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