Missouri can boast 93 E85 filling stations that are either up and running or soon to open. Ethan Taylor, the E85 Coordinator for the Missouri Corn Growers Association says that each E85 filling station pumps about 300 gallons a day. That equates to 27,900 gallons of E85 fuel being sold each day in Missouri, or more than 10 million gallons sold each year. The Show-Me-State certainly has a jump start on the ethanol industry, but there’s obviously room for more growth.
That’s one of the reason’s why the Ethanol Promotion and Information Council sponsored an educational forum in Kansas City today to allow local ethanol industry members, or those interested in becoming involved in the industry, learn more about how they can grow ethanol, and, more specifically, how they can ramp up the production and sale of E85 fuel. During the forum, Ethan stressed that the biggest necessity for industry producers and retailers is to educate consumers on the truth about ethanol. He says much of the public is misinformed about how and when to run their vehicles on E85 fuel blends, how much mileage they’re getting compared to gasoline and how much money they’re spending to get from A to B.
Ethan reminds industry members that virtually any vehicle manufactured since 1980 can use an E10 blend of fuel. He says consumers do need a flex-fuel vehicle in order to use E85 fuel or any other fuel blend greater than 10 percent ethanol. When it comes to energy efficiency, Ethan explains that a gallon of ethanol has an energy content of about 72,000 BTU. When compared to gasoline’s energy content of about 115,000 BTU, that means consumers get about 28 percent less energy from burning E85. Ethan says that equates to about a 10 to 20 percent mileage loss when using E85. But, he says when you factor in the cost of E85 fuel – which typically runs 20 percent lower than the going rate for gasoline – at worst, consumers are spending the same amount of money. At best, they’re saving 10 percent on fuel.
For Ethan, spending the same amount of cash, or less, on a renewable fuel that’s domestically produced, that reduces emissions and that results in cleaner engines is a smart idea.
I spoke with Ethan about the importance of today’s educational forum on E85 and about how the Missouri Corn Growers Association is getting involved in the ethanol industry. You can listen to my interview with Ethan here: