• What is ethanol?

    Ethanol, or ethyl alcohol, is a clean-burning biofuel created from corn or other starch or sugar-based feedstocks. It can be blended with unleaded gasoline in amounts up to 85%.
  • What are ethanol’s benefits for drivers?

    Ethanol is a high-octane fuel that keeps an auto’s fuel system clean for optimal performance because it does not leave gummy deposits. It also serves as a natural gas-line antifreeze. Ethanol-blended fuels are approved under the warranties of all auto manufacturers marketing vehicles in the United States today, and all mainstream manufacturers of power equipment, motorcycles, snowmobiles and outboard motors permits the use of ethanol blends in their products.
  • What are ethanol’s benefits for the environment?

    Ethanol is a renewable fuel produced from plants, unlike petroleum-based fossil fuels that have a limited supply and are the major contributor carbon dioxide emissions. The use of 10% ethanol blends reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 12-19% compared with conventional gasoline. Ethanol reduces tailpipe carbon monoxide emissions, toxics content and fine particulate matter. It is also rapidly biodegraded in surface water, groundwater and soil, and is the safest component in gasoline today.
  • What are ethanol’s benefits for the economy?

    The state’s ethanol industry has created 4,250 direct and indirect jobs. Ethanol plants produce over $3.5 billion in annual product sales, with a large portion of these profits reinvested in Iowa when the enterprises are producer-owned or cooperatives. Almost all of the corn and 44% of other expenses of an ethanol plant are purchased from Iowa residents and businesses. State tax revenues generated by Iowa’s ethanol plants exceed $26 million per year. The state’s ethanol industry generates nearly $2.5 billion in total sales back to local communities. Iowa’s ethanol industry delivers about $2.40 in added value for each bushel of corn it processes. Processing corn into ethanol boosts the state average price of corn by 6 cents per bushel, which means an additional $124 million of revenue to farmers annually. Within the market territory of an ethanol plant, the impact on corn prices could be an additional 12 cents per bushel.
  • What are the most common blends of ethanol?

    Ethanol is most often blended at a 10% rate, which is widely available and covered under warranty by every automobile manufacturer that sells vehicles in the United States for every make and model of automobile. The second blending rate that is growing in popularity and usage is E85 (85% ethanol, 15% unleaded gasoline). It can be used in flexible fuel vehicles (FFVs), which are made by DaimlerChrysler, Ford, General Motors, Mazda, Mercury, Isuzu and Mercedes. Check inside the gas tank door on your vehicle to see if it is an FFV or go online
  • What does the future hold for ethanol?

    Ethanol’s future is bright, as the nation looks to replace foreign oil in a highly-charged energy market. A nationwide Renewable Fuels Standard was passed in late 2005 mandating that the nation reach a level of using 7 billion gallons of renewable fuels by 2012, with more legislation now being proposed to boost that requirement to 12 billion gallons by 2012.

Information courtesy of Renewable Fuels Association, www.ethanolrfa.org.