Ethanol is a renewable fuel made from various plant materials, which collectively are called “biomass.” Ethanol contains the same chemical compound (C2H5OH) found in alcoholic beverages. Nearly half of U.S. gasoline contains ethanol in a low level blend to oxygenate the fuel and reduce air pollution. Ethanol is also increasingly available in E85, an alternative fuel that can be used in flexible fuel vehicles. Studies have estimated that ethanol and other biofuels could replace 30% or more of U.S. gasoline demand by 2030.
Ethanol is a natural, non-toxic alcohol that burns clean and reduces greenhouse emissions by as much as 59 percent. It’s made in America, in rural farming areas all across the country. Ethanol is made from crops and other plant material grown right here in the U.S. Most is currently made from field corn, but new technologies are allowing ethanol to be made from other materials such as switchgrass, wood chips and agricultural waste. Standard corn ethanol uses the starch in the corn kernel – the rest of the proteins and nutrients are saved and used as a valuable livestock feed called distillers grains.