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Ethanol Production

Ethanol is America’s renewable fuel. It is reliable, clean, homegrown, affordable, and readily available. Besides being a renewable fuel, it has many other positives like reducing greenhouse emissions, decreasing our dependence on foreign oil, creating American jobs and revitalizing our rural communities. 52% of Iowa’s corn is processed at an ethanol plant that produces clean-burning ethanol fuel, dried distillers grains (DDGS) for livestock feed, and nearly 4,000 other everyday products for you and your family!  

we want to bring you the facts!  

  • Ethanol is a clean-burning biofuel that reduces greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 50% compared to petroleum-based gasoline. With ethanol, we have removed cancer-causing chemicals from gasoline to improve air quality and benefit human health 

  • Ethanol is better for our planet because it’s plant-based fuel. It’s good for human health, too.

  • Ethanol fuel is more affordable at the pump too. E15 will lower the price even more. E15, often marketed as Unleaded 88, costs about 5 to 10 cents less per gallon than Super Unleaded E10. 

  • Ethanol reduces the amount of toxic chemicals in gasoline. Blending more clean-burning ethanol for E15 replaces even more harmful petroleum-based additives meaning its cleaner-burning and better for our health.  

Click here to find a fueling station in your area. 

At Iowa Corn, we think about it as the four E’s of ethanol: economy, environment, energy security and engine performance. 

Good for the Economy

The renewable fuels industry (including biodiesel) supports around 57,000 jobs in Iowa and accounts for nearly $7.2 billion of Iowa’s GDP. Corn, and ethanol grow Iowa all right.  Learn more.

Good for the Environment

Low-carbon, high octane ethanol can help combat climate change. The 15 billion gallons of ethanol used in the U.S. fuel supply reduced greenhouse gas emissions by a whopping 54.5 million metric tons. That’s like removing 12 million cars from the road. Greenhouse Gas Emissions from corn ethanol are nearly 50% lower than gasoline. Motor vehicle emissions are a major source of harmful airborne pollutants causing lung disease and other health issues. Ethanol blends are proven to reduce harmful emissions creating cleaner air for you and me. Clean, burning ethanol is the climate solution we need now. Over 98% of vehicles on the road today can fuel up with E-15/UNL88 that is affordable, available and grown right here in the cornfields of Iowa.

Good for Energy Security

The U.S. uses 15.4 billion gallons of domestic ethanol, overall decreasing net import dependence from 10% to 4% of petroleum demand. The use of ethanol in the U.S. fuel supply reduces crude oil imports by nearly 500 million barrels. New innovations are constantly improving ethanol production, making it more energy and resource efficient, and allowing the fuel to be produce from almost anything, from corn cobs to plant materials to waste, meaning ethanol will never run out.

Good for Engine Performance

INDYCAR and NASCAR drivers have logged millions of miles racing on E85 and E15. That's because higher blends of ethanol provide a great source of octane for a vehicle's engine. In fact, pure ethanol has an octane rating of 113! So if you're looking for some homegrown, clean burning power for you engine, fill up like the pros and use E15 or E85. 


When we talk about ethanol, we can’t forget that all of that corn that goes into an ethanol plant doesn’t just come out as fuel but 1/3 of the corn comes back out as DDGS. What are DDGS? If you ask a cow, it’s the best tasting feed ever! DDGS are dried distillers grains with solubles. But ethanol plants can sell them dried or wet and can feed them locally or export them around the world. Ethanol plants use every part of the kernel, so the starch becomes ethanol fuel, and the protein becomes distillers grains to feed livestock. In addition to being ranked number one in corn and ethanol production, Iowa is also #1 in DDGS production.

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