Ethanol is a high-octane fuel made from renewable sources that reduces air pollution, replaces imported oil and improves automobile performance.
Right now ethanol is made from corn, but new technologies are in development that will allow it to be made from other plant material as well, such as corn stalks, wood chips, switch grass, and a variety of other sources.
Iowa has been the leader in the development of efficient ethanol production. The state currently has 29 ethanol refineries with the capacity to produce nearly 2 billion gallons annually. In addition, 18 ethanol refineries are under construction or expansion that will add nearly 1.4 billion gallons of annual capacity.
This new industry has created hundreds of jobs across the state and added billions of dollars to the state’s economy.
The new plants produce approximately 2.8 gallons of ethanol and 17 pounds of feed co-products, called distillers grains, from just one bushel of corn.
Most of the gasoline in Iowa includes 10 percent ethanol and E85, which is 85 percent ethanol and just 15 percent gasoline, is becoming more widely available.
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