Narrator: This is Science Today. Using ethanol as a gasoline additive could jack up prices at the pump. In a study at the University of California, Berkeley, geoengineering professor Tad Patzek found it cost more to use ethanol extracted from corn than using gasoline with no additives. Instead, Patzek suggests companies make cars that are less dependent on gas.
Patzek: There are also things that can be done to improve combustion in the internal combustion engines, which are not being done or investigated, which are much simpler and much more cost effective than adding ethanol from corn.
Narrator: Patzek says gasoline additives could be eliminated if carmakers built more fuel-efficient engines and stepped up production of hybrid cars.
Patzek: The impact of ethanol on the US gasoline consumption can be at most at the range of 2 maybe 2.5 percent of gasoline. Now if we went to hybrid cars we could have had, over time, we could have impact of the order of 20, 30, 40, percent.
Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin