Ethanol

Ethanol... A Natural Alternative to Traditional Fuels

Ethanol is an alternative fuel which is derived from various plant materials or "biomass." It is a clean-burning fuel that can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 50% when compared to traditional forms of fuel.  The fuel is mostly produced from starch and sugar-based feedstock due to easy extraction.  Starch and sugar-based feedstock includes materials like barley, corn, and wheat and sugar feedstock, for example. 

Blends

You may already recognize some of these blends from your local gas stations.  Ethanol can be found in more than 96% of all gasoline sold, accounting for approximately 10 percent of the nation's gas supply. 

  • E10 - A low-level blend containing 10% ethanol and 90% gasoline.  95% of gasoline stations provide this blend in their gasoline pumps across the U.S.  E10 is compatible for use in any gasoline-powered vehicle. 
  • E15 - Another low-level blend that is composed of 15% ethanol and 85% gasoline. E15 is also compatable with gasoline-powered vehicles, but the vehicles must be from the 2001 and newer model years to be compatable.  
  • E85 - A high-level blend that usually contains 51% to 83% ethanol.  This blend can only be used in flex-fueled vehicles, and are not compatable with gasoline-fueled vehicles. 

 

Where to find it: 
Ethanol Station Locator

Case Studies: 
North Carolina at Chapel Hill Ethanol Fleet Case Study
Alabama City Leads with Biodiesel and Ethanol
Goss' Garage Provides Tips for Using Ethanol in Classic Cars

Helpful Links: 
www.afdc.org/ethanolbasics