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There are both advantages
and disadvantages of the use of ethanol as an alternative fuel in general.
Currently, 8 million cars worldwide run on either pure ethanol or ethanol
blends. The use of ethanol as an alternative fuel source in Australia is
currently unviable on account of the associated economic cost, and
environmental and agricultural implications; however, due to the rising price
of petroleum, the exhaustion of fossil fuels, and growing environmental
awareness and concern, it is becoming increasingly feasible and desired. In
order for ethanol to be used as a fuel effectively, car engines need to be
designed such that they can run on ethanol without damage (petroleum lubricates
the engine, reducing rust, and wears the engine less than ethanol). Ethanol costs more than petrol to produce so
the federal government has set
up subsidies and excise concessions to
encourage the production of ethanol
(from crops) to be added to petrol (presumably
to reduce oil consumption). In the 1970s and 1980s, Brazil
adopted ethanol as it main car fuel, with sugar cane being grown specifically
for ethanol production. Brazil aimed to both reduce consumption of
non-renewable petroleum and create a locally produced fuel market, although
extreme expenses caused the project to be abandoned. In Brazil all cars utilise a blend of ethanol and
petrol Countries such as brazil have, in the 1970s and 80s,
implemented the use of ethanol as a main fuel, by growing large areas of sugar
cane for the specific conversion to ethanol. The trial had only limited success
due to the high costs involved. Ethanol has been advocated mainly on
environmental grounds, that it has a neutral effect on the greenhouse effect.
Therefore, ethanol should be used more as an alternative fuel as it reduces
greenhouse emissions by recycling carbon dioxide and since it is a renewable
resource and will never run out like petroleum will. 


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