We’ve talked previously about bioethanol and its impact on health. According to Juan Enriquez, Chairman and CEO of Biotechonomy, a life sciences research and investment firm, and a member of the management team at Synthetic Genomics, a company dedicated to commercializing synthetic genomic processes and naturally occurring processes for alternative energy solutions, bioethanol is not bioenergy.
Ethanol is produced biologically by fermenting sugar with Saccharomyces yeasts. Under anaerobic (meaning in the absence of oxygen) conditions, when yeast metabolize sugar, they produce ethanol and carbon dioxide. Bioethanol (meaning ethanol production derived from crops) is the most common renewable fuel today and is derived from corn grain (starch) and sugar cane (sucrose) . Thus, ethanol is an inherently renewable eco-friendly resource, contributing nothing in itself to greenhouse gases. However, a study published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology (ES&T) concludes that if every vehicle in the U.S. ran on ethanol-based fuel, the number of respiratory-related deaths and hospitalizations would likely increase.
You read that right, widespread use of E85 would likely result in an increase in respiratory-related deaths and hospitalizations.