Outcome Magazine released a report last week, stating that when the biofuel component ethanol is mixed with regular petroleum gas it gives it different fluid-like properties. Researchers at the University of Mitchigan discovered that ethanol-based liquids mix much more actively with water.
In case of a possible oil spill, this combination of ethanol-based biofuel and water could have a devastating and much more severe effect. Although ethanol-based substances are considered more environmentally friendly than pure gasoline, not much has been done in order to assess their effect on the surface water biodiversity, according to Avery Demond, an associate professor and director of the Environmental and Water Resources Engineering program at the University of Michigan.
The team of scientists at University of Michigan conducted series of experiments in order to establish the influence of the biofuel mixture. They filled up a tank with ethanol biofuel and water.
They collected video recordings to examine the mixing behavior of the substances. During the process, convection cells appeared and produced heat and changed the density and viscosity of the fluid where the water and ethanol had joined together.
Although Ethanol is biodegradable, in high concentrations it is still toxic, while emissions released during the mixing process could contribute to air pollution.
In other words, the report indicates that ethanol-based biofuel used in vehicles could increase the level of ozone gas release in the atmosphere.