Beating the high cost of gas
There are five million automobile engines currently driving around the U.S. that are fully equipped to survive without gasoline. The brands? Ford Taurus and Explorer. Dodge Stratus. Chevy Suburban. And others. These vehicles are capable of running on an energy source that costs less than gasoline, is renewable, and has almost no emissions.
And, no, I'm not kidding.
Ethanol -- somewhat similar to the central ingredient of the "Purple Monkey Punch" (pure grain alcohol) you probably drank at one point or another during college -- can be made from corn and corn husks, sugar cane, wood chips, and other agricultural waste products. This biomass-based fuel is "cellulosic ethanol" and it burns far cleaner than gas: emissions are reduced more than 80% and no acid-rain byproducts are released while burning.
The Department of Energy cautiously posits that ethanol could cut America's gas consumption by 30% within 25 years:
|In Decatur, Ill., nobody is waiting around for the future; demand for ethanol from corn is booming right now. This grain-elevator-dotted town is home to agribusiness giant Archer Daniels Midland, which makes it the capital of the old-school heavily subsidized U.S. ethanol industry. On a blustery January day, the air is thick with fog, sleet, and condensation from the corn mills on the 600-acre complex next to ADM's corporate office. Outside the ethanol plant, the air smells like grape juice gone bad. Inside, with its giant vats and fermentation towers, the biorefinery resembles a winery, but it's much noisier.|
How to Beat the High Cost of Gasoline. Forever!