Ethanol: energy from home
Having farmer friends who produce
Ethanol gives me a sense of doing something special when I fill my fuel
tank with their product. A similar feeling came over me when I toured
the new ethanol production plant near Macon.
This plant stands as a tribute
to Missouri corn growers who took the initiative to add value to a Missouri
product and to enhance the lives of each of us.
While filling my own vehicle
with ethanol and watching those at nearby gas pumps, I want to holler
"stop!" at those buying the unblended stuff! I want to tell them
they are not using a clean-burning, renewable product made from Missouri
corn. They are using an imported product that sucks billions out of our
national economy each year.
On a sub-freezing day this
past winter I asked a lady who was filling her car with gas why she didnt
use ethanol. She said, "My brother-in-law said ethanol wasnt good
for the engine in my car." When I told her it was good throughout the
year and especially during winter because it helps prevent gas-line freeze-up,
I thought she was going to hit me over the head with her nozzle.
A few years back when my wife
bought a new mini-van, the salesman suggested she not use ethanol. My
wife quickly leafed through the owners manual and showed him that
the manufacturer actually recommended the use of gasoline blends including
ethanol. Automobile and truck manufacturers recommend ethanol because
it is a very clean-burning fuel. In addition, ethanol helps keep fuel
injection systems clean so they perform better.
The American Institute of Chemical Engineers compared ethanol fuel to
straight gasoline. They said, "Ethanol noticeably reduced engine pre-ignition
and as a result acceleration was improved". They also said ethanol should
be looked at as an octane enhancer. Blending gasoline with 10 percent
ethanol improves the rating about three points. That means increased engine
There is always some degree
of resistance to trying something new. Ethanol is not something new anymore.
Since 1981 more than 168 billion gallons of ethanol blends have been used
in the United States. With an average mileage of 20 mpg, that is more
than 3 trillion miles of proven experience. There is no question ethanol
is the fuel of the present and future!
The next time we pull into
a filling station that does not have an ethanol pump, we should drive
right on out. I always pull into a Break Time convenience station owned
by MFA Oil. As MFA is owned by Missouri farmers, I know they will have
an ethanol pump there.
We should read our owners
manual for recommended fuel use. Please dont look to me, a brother
in law or an uninformed salesperson for guidance on such important matters.
Its my bet the manual will suggest we use ethanol, our "Energy From
Stork was executive
vice president of the Association of Missouri
Electric Cooperatives and a member of Three Rivers Electric Co-op.