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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 crop is used for ethanol fuel to safely get you and your family to all your summer activities... you can put your trust in this locally grown fuel! 

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

  • Ethanol is an earth-friendly biofuel that reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 46% compared to petroleum gasoline. Without ethanol, we would have to turn back the clock and add cancer-causing chemicals back into gasoline. 

  • Ethanol isn’t just good for planet health, 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 already lowers costs at the pump. 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 octane enhancement additives.  

Click here to find a fueling station in your area. 

Click here to find your flex fuel vehicle. 



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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

53 percent or 1.3 billion bushels of Iowa corn goes to ethanol production. A third of these bushels (or 335 million bushels) are turned into a co-product called DDGs, which is a high protein, valuable livestock feed. 39 percent of Iowa’s corn crop is used for ethanol fuel. The renewable fuels industry (including biodiesel) supports around 42,000 jobs in Iowa and accounts for $4.7 billion of Iowa’s GDP. Ethanol is good for Iowa all right. Learn more.

Good for the Environment

Mother Nature is all about ethanol. The 15.3 billion gallons of ethanol used 2016 reduced greenhouse gas emissions by a whopping 43.5 million metric tons. That’s like removing 9.3 million cars from the road. Plus, ethanol production requires less water than gasoline, by a three to one margin. Not only does Mother Nature love ethanol, our lungs love it too. Motor vehicle emissions are a major source of harmful airborne pollutants causing lung disease and other health issues. Ethanol blends are proven to reduce those emissions creating a better environment for you and me. Our partnership with the American Lung Association helps make Clean Air for Iowa a priority. 

Good for Energy Security

Without 15.3 billion gallons of domestic ethanol produced in the U.S. in 2016, the United States’ net import dependence would have stood at 33 percent instead of 25 percent. Said another way, the ethanol produced in 2016 displaced an amount of gasoline refined from 540 million barrels of crude oil. Take that, foreign oil! 

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. 


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 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 that enters the plant so the starch becomes ethanol fuel and the protein becomes distillers grains to feed livestock. 

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