Unsure how to talk about ethanol and how to best debunk common misconceptions? We’ve got you covered. Our fast facts will help you understand – and explain – the REAL effect ethanol has on our air, our engines, our wallets and our lives. Brush up on the facts on how ethanol is a high-performance, high-octane fuel that burns cleaner and cooler than gasoline and how it’s moving us forward every day by providing consumers earth-friendly, renewable options at the fuel pump.
Ethanol is a renewable, earth-friendly biofuel made from plants. It’s a high-quality, high-octane fuel that burns cleaner and cooler than gasoline, which is good for our environment and our car engines.
Today, 98 percent of America’s motor fuel mix contains 10 percent ethanol, and higher blends are becoming increasingly available. These new consumer options have appeared, in part, thanks to public policies, like the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), that require oil companies to offer consumers more renewable fuel options at the pump.
"Almost all U.S. gasoline is blended with 10 percent ethanol." - U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA)
Policymakers from coast to coast support biofuels because they reduce our dependence on foreign oil, helping to keep more American dollars out of the hands of hostile nations. In fact, since 2005, U.S. oil imports have fallen by half. At the same time, U.S. employment supported by ethanol production has risen to nearly 366,000 jobs.
But that’s not the full story.
Ethanol isn’t just a homegrown alternative to foreign oil. It provides a wide array of benefits that many consumers – and even some lawmakers – have never stopped to consider. For example, did you know that ethanol provides a clean octane boost to fuel, allowing refiners to stop adding toxic chemicals like MTBE to our gas? These unsung benefits of American biofuels are the Ethanol Effect.
We may not think of it often, but ethanol affects us every day. It’s good for America – it’s moving us forward.
"The biofuel industry is an incredible American success story, and the RFS program has been an important driver of that success – cutting carbon pollution, reducing our dependence on foreign oil, and sparking rural economic development." - Janet McCabe, Former Assistant Administrator for Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Air & Radiation
Ethanol is the single most effective policy tool we have to decarbonize our transportation fuels. It is protecting our planet, cleaning the air and saving consumers money.
A new report published by the Environmental Research Letters found that greenhouse gas emissions from corn ethanol are 46% lower than gasoline, up from the estimated 39% done by previous modeling. The report, led by David MacIntosh, Chief Science Officer of Environmental Health & Engineering, Inc. (EH&E) and consulted by dozens of experts in academia, updates ethanol’s carbon intensity score to reflect how continuous improvements in technology and practices have driven further emissions reductions in the lifecycle of ethanol and will lead to net zero renewable fuel in the future.
Additionally, a report by Air Improvement Resource, Inc. (AIR), a leading research firm in the area of mobile source emissions modeling and technology, at the request of Growth Energy, found that if the United States transitioned from E10 to E15 in the nation for 2001 and later model year vehicles, GHG emissions would be lower by 17.62 million tons per year, which is the equivalent of removing approximately 3.85 million vehicles from the road.
In addition to being carbon reductive, ethanol displaces the need for toxic, cancer-causing chemicals that have been linked to asthma, smog and groundwater contamination. Thanks to ethanol, there are fewer toxic, dirty chemicals in our fuel, water and our air.
Ethanol works well in all modern cars and is already found in 98 percent of our fuel. It has the highest blending octane of available additives, which keeps your engines running cooler and cleaner, while improving engine performance.
Ethanol is a more affordable option at the pump and is a major part of the reason gas is less expensive than it was just a few years ago. It keeps gas prices steady when oil prices spike, saving consumers $0.50 to $1.50 a gallon.
Ethanol is also a crucial tool for reducing our reliance on foreign oil imports. One truck of ethanol replaces the gasoline produced from 400 barrels of oil. Since the RFS was enacted in 2005, net oil imports have dropped by more than 70 percent.
"90% of greenhouse gas emissions from transportation today are from petroleum. So anything on the alternative fuel side to reduce our dependence on oil is a positive" - Chris Bliley, Senior VP @GrowthEnergy #DCEnergyEXPO #EESItalk