Read the full story from American Physical Society’s Division of Fluid Dynamics.
Ethanol, a component of biofuel made from plants such as corn, is blended with gas in many parts of the country, but has significantly different fluid properties than pure gasoline. A group of researchers from the University of Michigan wondered how ethanol-based fuels would spread in the event of a large aquatic spill. They found that ethanol-based liquids mix actively with water, very different from how pure gasoline interacts with water and potentially more dangerous to aquatic life. The scientists will present their results, which could impact the response guidelines for ethanol fuel-based spills, at the American Physical Society’s (APS) Division of Fluid Dynamics (DFD) meeting, held Nov. 18 – 20, in San Diego, Calif.