According to the report made by Outcome Magazine made on Nov. 16, 2012, stated that ethanol which is a biofuel component that's mixed with regular petroleum gas has a somewhat different fluid-like properties than regular gasoline. Researchers from the University of Michigan and had wondered if a biofuel spill were to ever occur, what would happen in a large scale spill.
Researchers there found ethanol-based liquids tend to mix more actively with water. Considering the old adage, "Oil and water don't mix ", perhaps this form of mixture for biofuel and the environmental effect of ethanol. This could just be another contributor to water pollution.
Ethanol/gasoline blends are often presented as more environmentally benign than pure gasoline, but there is, in fact, little scientific research into the effects these blends could have on the health of surface waters,” says Avery Demond, an associate professor and director of the Environmental and Water Resources Engineering program at the University of Michigan, and one of the researchers who is working on the project.
Currently, research is being conducted and some reports had indicated the means by which ethanol could be harmful. For instance, Michigan researchers experimented by filling up a tank with water and poured in the ethanol biofuel mixture. Video recordings were made, showing the nature of the mixing behavior between both the water and the ethanol mixture. Convection cells appeared during the mixing process where the water and ethanol mixture had joined together. This produced heat that changed the density as well as the viscosity of the fluid. This demonstrated the two did mix together as opposed to standard gasoline, when mixed with water are separate entities.
Even though ethanol is biodegradable, a high concentration of it could be toxic still to aquatic life.
But not only that, the emissions that are given off during this mixing process, could also contribute to air pollution as well. In comparison, currently an atmospheric chemist at Stanford University showed a study done with an 85/15 mixture of ethanol-to-gasoline ratio could yield harmful gases and be harmful to people with asthma.
Basically, the report done by Professor Mark Jacobson says that ethanol burning vehicles could very well boost levels of toxic ozone gas.