Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Ethanol Additive Results in Less Particulate Air Pollution #Science #Environment #Health

The Rockhouse has never been a particular fan of ethanol or biofuel in general since crops used for that purpose can be used more efficiently and effectively in other ways.  Strictly in the context of efficiency, the Rockhouse would throw it out.

However ...

The concentration of ultrafine particles less than 50 nanometers in diameter rose by one-third in the air of São Paulo, Brazil, when higher ethanol prices induced drivers to switch from ethanol to gasoline, according to a new study by a Northwestern University chemist, a National University of Singapore economist and two University of São Paulo physicists.

Science Daily:  Tiny particles increase in air with ethanol-to-gasoline switch

Beijing and smog - Photographer unknown

Maybe that sounds like kind of a so what thing but ...

"The push we are seeing in large cities away from gasoline and toward vehicles powered by ethanol, electricity or a mix of the two will result in a reduction of these ultrafine particles. This likely comes with a health benefit -- these particles, below one micron, have the potential to get deeply into your lungs," he said.

- SD

Now the Rockhouse has a whole different basis for review of ethanol and also the many vehicles we see with a FlexFuel indicator, badge, etc on the vehicle.

I have incurred some lung damage in my own nefarious experience and we don't need to hear the litany about that sad story but it does heighten the interest in anything which may result in lung damage for anyone.

Nothing comes for free but the researchers are aware and study that as well.

The Nature Communications study builds on an earlier study in which Geiger and Salvo found that an increase in ethanol use resulted in a significant increase in ozone concentrations in São Paulo. Officials, Geiger said, will need to weigh the increase in ozone against the decrease in nanoparticles when ethanol is used.

Next, for the third chapter of the story, the research team would like to determine what happened in terms of health outcomes in São Paulo as cars switched out of gasoline to ethanol and back to gasoline.

- SD

While the air over Fort Worth never looks as awful as over Beijing, ozone alerts are not uncommon.  Don't take that as negativity since the Rockhouse is highly enthusiastic about science which scopes such things so we understand them and can deal rationally with them.

We are not interested in the cult of personality in the news since the informational content is low and the hysteria is high.  Here at the Rockhouse, we want a dispassionate review of considerations which are significant and we find that in science but never see it in the news.

Yogi:  if anyone says "Trump" then we let the water balloons fly?

That's right, Yogi.

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