Ethanol Set To Break More Markets

Laura McNamara

EPIC Board President Thomas Branhan watches Indy 500 paradeThe man that built The Ethanol Promotion and Information Council from the ground up is Board President Tom Branhan, CEO and general manager of Glacial Lakes Energy. When I caught up with him on the bus, he said the transition to 100 percent ethanol fuel in the Indy Racing League is a major stride for the ethanol industry, and he said there’s certainly more opportunity to keep up that pace. Tom pointed out that every IndyCar runs strictly on Honda motors, but as the ethanol industry expands to other major motor series, that means a larger variety of engines that will be built to run on ethanol.

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Tom said this year’s Honda motors built specifically for ethanol fuel are running farther and faster on the same amount of fuel than methanol – the fuel the IRL series used previously. He said ethanol’s performance shows that it can be run in just about any engine if it’s set up for it, getting better mileage and better horsepower. Tom says he’s confident the 91st Indy 500 race will also demonstrate that use of ethanol also amounts to less wear and tear on the IndyCars.

Tom pointed out that as more engines are designed for use of ethanol fuel, EPIC’s role in educating the public will be increasingly vital.

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