Corn as Fuel
It’s probably not news to you that domestic ethanol producers are turning corn into environmentally friendly, renewable fuel. That this clean-burning, high-octane fuel contributes to our energy independence. Or that millions of drivers have used ethanol over billions of trouble-free miles.
Now we’d like to set a few things straight:
•A single bushel of field corn yields 2.8 gallons of fuel ethanol and 17.5 pounds of high-protein distillers dried grain for livestock feed.
•E-10, the most common blend, can be used in every make and model vehicle sold in America.
•E-85, a blend of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline, can be used only in flexible fuel vehicles—and there are more than 6 million on the road today.
•Every barrel of American-made ethanol produced directly displaces 1.2 barrels of crude oil.
•Corn-based ethanol decreases the price of gasoline by as much as 40 cents per gallon.
•Ethanol use reduces carbon monoxide, oxides of nitrogen and other ozone-forming pollutants.
•And it’s true: Industry demand for corn has helped bolster low corn prices, allowing growers to earn a very modest, market-based profit on their crop.
Simple enough, right?
And here’s a bit of news: Ethanol, which consumed 25 percent of the corn crop in 2008, is expected to consume about one-third of the crop over the next ten years, according to a USDA forecast.
Ethanol production is not just about keeping the American grower up and running. It’s about keeping all of America good to go with a fuel that makes sense. And with the improved quality and quantity of today’s corn crop, it’s possible to meet the demands of the road without taking food from the table.