There are plenty of perfectly valid arguments against the use of ethanol
, particularly from food crops. However, one major one may be about to come off the table: transporting the alcohol fuel. Kinder Morgan
Energy Partners is the largest independent pipeline operator in the United States. The company has recently completed successful test of sending ethanol through one of its pipelines in Florida. The ethanol was transported between Tampa and Orlando. Kinder Morgan will be making some additional modifications to its pipeline system before it starts offering commercial ethanol transport to customers in mid-November. The company is also updating tanker trucks and terminal facilities to support ethanol distribution. One of the primary issues with ethanol distribution via pipelines has been corrosion, forcing it to be distributed by tanker. It's not actually the alcohol that is the problem, but rather the water content. Alcohols have an affinity for water which can be absorbed. The water is what actually causes the corrosion. It's not clear what Kinder Morgan has done to overcome this problem, but it's certainly a step in the right direction.
[Source: Kinder Morgan