Ethanol has been a big topic in the news for the last couple years. Federal regulators leave it to the states to decide whether pumps must be labeled disclosing that they dispense fuel blended with E10. About a dozen states don’t require ethanol labeling on gas pumps.
Classic car buffs say 10 percent ethanol already in widespread use corrodes their vehicles despite what government agencies say. As Woodward Dream Cruise plans to start this weekend classic car enthusiasts rev up against EPA’s 15 percent ethanol approved gasoline. Car enthusiasts believe the blend approved to come on the market this year poses a threat to their vehicles.
Lobbyists of the ethanol industry and corn producers vigorously dispute such complaints, saying ethanol is safe for any new car and that, for older cars, parts can be adapted and fuel additives used during storage as safeguards.
While we are waiting to see how this plays out here is an interesting solution. Never mind ethanol researchers at University of Louisiana are looking for green substitutes for diesel fuel. The prime one now in use is soybeans but this resource is also needed for human consumption and animal feed (21 percent of American crops). Therefore researchers have been focusing on a new potential source for biodiesel that currently goes straight to landfills: alligator fat, about 15 million pounds of it every year. Alligators are grown and harvested for their meat and for their skins before the fat heads to landfills. They are not endangered or threatened and prior to this their fat has very limited use. Some 15 million pounds could become 1.25 million gallons of fuel, with an energy content about 91 percent as great as that of petroleum diesel.