About Ethanol

This section provides some basic information about Ethanol, including how it is produced, its effects on the environment and economy as well as milestones in the Ethanol production timeline.

Ethanol Fact Book 2010 - CFDC

Ethanol Fact Book 2010Click to View Online

What is Ethanol?

Ethanol is a clean-burning, high-octane motor fuel that is produced from renewable sources. At its most basic, ethanol is grain alcohol, produced from crops such as corn. Because it is domestically produced, ethanol helps reduce America's dependence upon foreign sources of energy and creates green jobs in rural areas of the country. Ethanol is a proven solution, being used right now, in the automobiles we drive every day. Ethanol use reduces the price of gas by as much as 20-35 cents/gallon*, saving the average American household $150-$300/year.

Ethanol has been blended in gasoline for decades-and billions of miles have been driven on ethanol-blended fuels.

Corn is the primary feedstock for ethanol production. About 30 percent of the nation's corn supply went into ethanol in 2009-some 3.8 billion bushels. Ethanol can also be made from other grains such as sorghum as well as from "biomass" sources such as corn cobs, cornstalks, wheat straw, rice straw, switchgrass, vegetable and forestry waste and other organic matter.

Ethanol offers a number of benefits to our cars, our environment, our economy and our national security:

  • Ethanol adds oxygen to gasoline-helping it combust more completely and reducing the level of toxic exhaust emissions
  • Ethanol reduced dependence on imported oil by 364 million fewer barrels in 2009.
  • The ethanol industry creates jobs and investment across the nation-especially in rural areas by supporting 400,000 green jobs.
  • Ethanol is a valuable blend components that is used by refiners to extend U.S. fuel supplies.
  • Ethanol adds value to America's corn harvest and helps reduce the cost of federal farm programs

Click the links on the right to learn more about Ethanol and why it is such a valuable renewable energy resource.

* (DOE estimate)