Henry Ford first suggested running cars on ethanol from corn, but it took the oil shortages of the seventies and the environmental problems of the eighties to turn ethanol into an important component in the American fuel supply.
Ethanol is made by fermenting sugars produced from corn starch. Many corn refining factories produce both ethanol and other corn products like starches and sweeteners so that capital and manufacturing costs can be kept as low as possible. While they are making ethanol, corn refiners also produce valuable coproducts such as corn oil and corn gluten feed.
Ethanol, blended with gasoline at a 10 percent level or in the form of ethyl tertiary butyl ether (ETBE) made from ethanol, is effective in reducing carbon monixide levels, ozone pollution, and greenhouse gas emissions from automobile exhaust.
For more information about ethanol, please visit the Renewable Fuels Association Web site at www.ethanolRFA.org.