The use of ethanol as a fuel additive improves the environment because its high level of oxygen increases the efficiency of the combustion process, resulting in lower emissions and higher air quality.
- The American Lung Association of Metropolitan Chicago credits ethanol-blended, reformulated gasoline with reducing smog-forming emissions by 25% since 1990.
- Ethanol reduces tailpipe carbon monoxide emissions by as much as 30%.
- Ethanol reduces exhaust VOC emissions by 12%.
- Ethanol reduces toxic emissions by 30%.
- Ethanol reduces particulate emissions, especially fine-particulates that pose a health threat to children, senior citizens, and those with respiratory ailments.
- Ethanol is widely used in the federal winter oxygenated fuels program and the reformulated gasoline (RFG) program in cities that exceed public health standards for carbon monoxide and ozone pollution.
- Ethanol reduces carbon dioxide greenhouse gases by over 35% compared to gasoline.
- If all the gasoline in California were blended with ten percent ethanol today, the state would reduce CO2 emissions by 6.4 million tons per year compared to straight gasoline.