What is Ethanol?

While ethanol has been around for a long time, longer than its biofuel peers, it is still a viable answer to supporting the “messy middle” gap we will have as other alternative fuels are developed and enter the market. Ethanol production plants continue evolving their technology and processes to reduce carbon intensities. Many pilot projects are happening now with higher blends of ethanol ( greater than E15) in ICE vehicles and engine conversions, allowing for higher ethanol blends even in diesel-powered engines.

The support and technology is out there, are you interested in determining your options?

Ethanol is a type of alcohol that is used as fuel. It is made by fermenting sugars or starches from plants, such as corn, sugar cane, and wheat. Ethanol is produced through a process called fermentation. This process involves breaking down the starch or sugar molecules in plant material into simple sugars, which can then be converted into ethanol through the action of yeast. The resulting ethanol is then distilled to remove impurities and concentrated to the desired level. Ethanol is a renewable fuel that can be produced domestically and has several benefits over traditional gasoline, including lower emissions and improved engine performance.

The most common type of ethanol used as a fuel is called E10, which is a blend of 10% ethanol and 90% gasoline. E10 is approved for use in all vehicles made since the 1980s and is widely available at gas stations across the United States. Higher ethanol blends, such as E15 (15% ethanol) and E85 (85% ethanol), are also available in some areas and are approved for use in certain types of vehicles.

Ethanol has several benefits over traditional gasoline. One of the main benefits is that it produces fewer harmful emissions. Ethanol burns cleaner than gasoline, which means that it releases fewer pollutants into the air when it is burned. This can help to reduce air pollution and improve air quality, particularly in areas with high levels of smog and pollution.

In addition to producing fewer emissions, ethanol can also improve engine performance. Ethanol has a higher octane rating than gasoline, which means that it can reduce engine knocking and improve acceleration. This can result in a smoother and more efficient driving experience, particularly in high-performance vehicles.

Another benefit of ethanol is that it is a renewable fuel. Unlike gasoline, which is made from finite fossil fuels, ethanol can be produced from renewable resources such as corn and other crops. This means that it is not dependent on foreign oil and can be produced domestically, which can help to reduce the country’s dependence on foreign oil.

Ethanol Blending

There are several different types of ethanol blends, ranging from E10 (10% ethanol, 90% gasoline) to E85 (85% ethanol, 15% gasoline), each with different properties and uses.

In many cases, ethanol is added to gasoline at the refinery or terminal level rather than at individual gas stations. This allows for a more efficient blending process and ensures the fuel is consistent across different locations. However, blending ethanol at the gas station level is also possible, particularly for higher ethanol blends such as E85. Some marketers blend E85 with premium (91) to create a blended product.

Special blending equipment is required to blend ethanol at the gas station level. This equipment typically consists of a blending pump or dispenser capable of mixing ethanol and gasoline in the correct proportions. Some blending pumps can handle multiple ethanol blends, allowing gas stations to offer a variety of ethanol blends to customers.

Are you under contract for the “frontcourt” of your operation? You may not be allowed to blend ethanol, and/or there may be penalties if you do.

Find out if incentives are available to you in your area to blend ethanol.