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No Ethanol is not carbon neutral as I am about to show you

Photosynthesis: 6H2O + 6CO2 => C6H12O6 + 6O2

Fermentation: C6H12O6 => 2C2H5OH + 2CO2

Combustion: 2C2H5OH + 6O2 => 4CO2 + 6H2O

by looking at this it would appear that Ethanol is carbon neutral because Photosynthesis uses 6CO2 per mole of glucose, fermentation and Combustion produce 2CO2 and 4CO2 making 6CO2 per mole of glucose but what makes ethanol not carbon neutral is that you have to burn fuel to grow and harvest the crops for fermentation, fermentation requires heat for the reaction to take place, heat comes from energy and energy comes from fossil fuels.


Only industrial scale ethanol fermentation requires additional heat. Fermentation is a biological process, in which yeast consuming sugars generates alcohol and heat. Small scale ethanol production with hand picked feedstock, is indeed Carbon Neutral.

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Q: Is ethanol carbon neutral or not?
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Related questions

Does ethanol produce greenhouse gases?

Yes, anything that is burnt releases carbon dioxide. However, ethanol has no carbon footprint, as the carbon dioxide it releases was recently removed from the atmosphere when the plants grew. So it is carbon neutral.

Does Ethanol contribute to the greenhouse effect?

Ethanol is a biofuel produced from vegetable matter. When the crop grows, it removes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. When the biofuel is burnt, that same carbon dioxide is released. So ethanol, basically, is carbon-neutral and does not contribute to the greenhouse effect.

What is ethanol family name and characteristics?

Ethanol is from Alcohol family. They are very flammable, give blue flame, volatile, nearly neutral, and contain only carbon, hydrogen and oxgen.

Is ethanol and acid or alkaline?

It is neutral.

How many carbon atoms are present in Ethanol?

Methanol has one carbon atom. Ethanol has two. ********************* Chemical formula of Ethanol: C2H5OH

What is the difference between ethanol and Carbon Dioxide?

Ethanol is an alcohol and carbon dioxyde is an inorganic gas.

How many carbon atoms does ethanol have?

The molecular formula of ethanol is C2H4O. This shows that each molecule of ethanol contains two carbon atoms.

Does carbon dioxide dissolve in ethanol?

Carbon dioxide has a very low solubility in ethanol.

Is ethanol acidic neutral or alkaline?

Almost neutral. Please see the link.

Is ethanol an acid or base?

Pure ethanol is slightly basic- about 7.9 However, a solution of ethanol and water is about 7,0- neutral

What is the chemical difference between methanol and ethanol?

Methanol have single carbon atom compound and ethanol have two carbon atoms.

Alcohol contains ethanol gasoline or carbon?

B carbon