Differences: Ethanol vs. Gasoline

Every time you go to fill up your vehicle’s tank at the fuel station; you may wonder what the difference between ethanol and regular gas is. Should you use one as an alternative to the other? Have you been fueling your car with the wrong form of fuel? Don’t despair because we are going to discuss all the major differences, between gasoline and ethanol. Here is a list of all the major differences;

Energy release

The first difference that we can consider is differences when it comes to the release of energy. A gallon of gasoline when used provides a third times more energy than ethanol. This means that gas generally releases more energy than ethanol does. When you blend gasoline and ethanol into flex fuel (E85), the fuel is about 30% less potent than gas in its purest form. When it comes to acceleration, cruising ability and power, ethanol and gasoline perform similarly. However, ethanol’s mileage per gallon is less than that of pure gas.

Damage caused

Ethanol is an alcohol, and as you may know, alcohol causes corrosion. Ethanol causes corrosion to the fuel systems of a vehicle. Metal parts of the car rust and the plastic parts either crack or become deformed. Unlike ethanol, pure gasoline does not corrode and damage the fuel systems. The most critical problems that arise with the use of ethanol in fuels are; fuel separation and water contamination. This is what results in severe damage to the fuel system, which is very costly to fix.

Pollutant emissions

Another major difference between gasoline and ethanol is the level of emission of pollutants. Gasoline which has been blended with ethanol burns cleaner and releases fewer pollutants into the atmosphere. On the other hand, pure gas burns less, releasing many contaminants into the air. When added to gasoline, ethanol acts as an “oxygenate”. This means that it cuts down the greenhouse gas emitted by vehicles.

Availability and popularity

Gasoline has been around for about a century. This means that it has been used around for a while, and is readily available in most In parts of the world. On the other hand, ethanol is a newer source of energy. This means that it is less popular, and not as readily available as gasoline.

These are but a few of the differences that you need to know about ethanol and gasoline.