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Ethanol Production

Iowans truly are #StrongerTogether when we support one another. Just like you support local businesses, restaurants and more, you can support local Iowa farmers every day. One way to do this is by fueling up with E15/Unleaded 88 when at the pump! 

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. 45% of Iowa’s corn is used for ethanol fuel to safely get you and your family to all your activities... you can trust in home grown ethanol!  

We know fuel has been a hot topic lately, but we want to bring you the facts!  

  • Ethanol is a clean burning biofuel that reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 43%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. The American Lung Association launched the Clean Air Choice™ campaign to help drivers understand the correlation between the use of ethanol and lung health.  

  • Ethanol lowers costs at the pump too. E15 will lower it even more. E15, often marketed as Unleaded 88, costs between 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.  

Click here to find a fueling station in your area. 

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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 37,000 jobs in Iowa and accounts for nearly $4 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 15.8 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 11.5 million cars from the road. Greenhouse Gas Emissions from corn ethanol are 46% lower than gasoline according to a 2021 Harvard report published by the Environmental Research Letters. 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. Our partnership with the American Lung Association helps make Clean Air for Iowa a priority. 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

In 2019, the U.S. used 15.8 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 reduced crude oil imports by nearly 500 million barrels in 2020. 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

Over the past decade, 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. 

DDGS

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.

© 2021 Iowa Corn Promotion Board/Iowa Corn Growers Association. All rights reserved.