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Advances in biofuel production provide increasing opportunities for this renewable fuel to replace liquid fossil fuels in our vehicles. Increased use of ethanol biofuels in our internal combustion engine vehicles will help reduce CO2 greenhouse gas pollution and help improve the sustainability of our transportation systems. Most gasoline sold in the US is now a blend containing 10% ethanol (E10 fuel), so all of our light-duty vehicles are already running on E10 fuel.

US EPA has approved use of gasoline with 15% ethanol (E15 fuel) in all light-duty motor vehicles sold in the US since 2001, <ref>E15 (a blend of gasoline and ethanol) | Fuels & Fuel Additives | US EPA "On October 13, 2010, EPA granted the first partial waiver (PDF) (58 pp; 4.6M; published November 4, 2010) for E15 for use in MY2007 and newer light-duty motor vehicles (i.e., cars, light-duty trucks and medium-duty passenger vehicles). On January 21, 2011, EPA granted the second partial waiver for E15 for use in MY2001-2006 light-duty motor vehicles. These decisions were based on test results provided by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and other test data and information regarding the potential effect of E15 on vehicle emissions."</ref> but this fuel is not yet widely available at fuel stations. <ref>E10, E15, E85 and Issues Surrounding the Ethanol Blend Wall – Biofuel Policy Watch blog 11jan2013 "... opposition to E15 has emerged from various entrenched interests, including the petroleum industry, certain auto and engine manufacturers, and others who are more broadly opposed to biofuels in general"</ref>

A smaller, but growing number of "flexfuel" vehicles are designed to use fuel blends with up to 85% ethanol (E85 fuel). Availablity of E85 biofuel is limited but growing, with websites and cellphone apps available to help drivers find nearby fuel stations that offer E85 biofuel.

Brazil has flexfuel vehicles designed to use any mixture of fuel from pure gasoline to pure ethanol (E100 fuel).

Carbon Footprint of Ethanol

US DOE reports that use of corn stover (crop wastes such as stems, leaves and cobs) as a feedstock for cellulosic ethanol biofuel provides a 130% reduction in carbon footprint compared to that of gasoline or diesel fuels. See the chart below. <ref>Bioenergy Sustainability - Biomass Program US DOE July 2011</ref> This was based on an extensive study published in 2010 on the environmental and economic impacts of replacing gasoline and diesel with renewable fuels, including indirect land use changes (ILUC) in the areas where biofuels are grown. <ref>Renewable Fuel Standard Program (RFS2) Regulatory Impact Analysis, Feb 2010</ref>

Production of ethanol from corn grain provided only a modest 19% reduction in carbon footprint compared to that of gasoline based on the data from 2010, but data from 2013 showed recent improvements in efficiency of ethanol production and a 62% reduction in carbon footprint for corn grain ethanol biofuel vs. gasoline or diesel fuel.<ref>Re-thinking the Carbon Reduction Value of Corn Ethanol Fuel - Winter 2015</ref> Thus, the first generation ethanol biofuel made from corn grain or sugarcane provides a significant improvement in carbon footprint and second generation biofuels such as cellulosic ethanol from corn stover or switchgrass are even better.

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Additional Biofuels and Feedstocks

Many other biofuels are in various stages of research, government approval and production in commercial quantities: isobutanol, farnesene, dimethyl ether, and methanol. Feedstocks for production of these biofuels include: crop wastes, municipal wastes, livestock manure, and algae.


Biofuels as Renewable Energy: Ethanol From Crop Residue - YouTube - mnagricualture 21march2014 "Tom Rothman, former Minnesota farm broadcaster and current Minnesota Agriculture in the Classroom Foundation Board Chair, narrates a great story about how POET, a large renewable energy company, is using corn stover (plant parts) to create ethanol at a huge processing plant at Emmetsburg, Iowa."

Biofuel from cornfield residue - YouTube - ThisAmericanLand 03feb2014 "Farmers in Iowa are harvesting corn stover - stalks, leaves, husks and cobs - as biomass for production of cellulosic ethanol."

Bio-Fuel: Science Competes to Create 'Non-Food Ethanol' - YouTube - Bloomberg News 01may2013 "Harry Boyle, lead analyst at Bloomberg New Energy Finance, discusses the future of renewable energy as scientists look to cheaply create a new, non-food ethanol bio-fuel."

Cellulosic Ethanol Biofuel - YouTube - GreenIsSexyTV's channel 14jan2013 Interview of Dr. Wes Marner, Univ Wisconsin-Madison discussing what makes biofuels a good alternative to gasoline.

News Sources