From the Farm: Next generation motor fuel


CENTRAL ILLINOIS (WCIA) — Electric cars may be a long way off for everyone, but something moving through Congress is a new type of fuel for cars that are 2001 and newer. It is a low carbon fuel because it has a higher blend of ethanol.

The New Generation Fuels Act will push the ethanol content in gasoline from 10% up to 25%. And past Corn Grower President Bill Leigh says it could happen very soon.

“This allows the Auto(makers) to make a new generation of engines that will use a higher blend of ethanol; it will be a high-octane, low-carbon fuel that will give good numbers for reduction of greenhouse gases,” Leigh said. “We are looking year-to-year at 4-6% reduction, when right now, with current technology, we are at 2%.”

“Its gasoline and ethanol. It is a higher blend of ethanol; right now we are looking at a minimum of 15,” Leigh continued. “An E-15 or an E-20 would give you a natural RON-95, instead of having a few more aromatics. And hopefully down the road, you would get a RON-98, which would be an E-25.”

Older cars could still use it.

“This fuel could be used on any vehicle if it is an E-15 blend that is 2001 and newer,” Leigh said. “But the new manufacturers would be dedicated to only this type of fuel. Its going to take some infrastructure work for the fuel stations to have the product available.”

And it would double the amount of corn refined for ethanol.

“That would increase our corn grind by three or four billion bushels. Its significant for us,” Leigh said. “Now that depends on how fast the concentration of electric vehicles come in and how much of the liquid fuel market is still out there. But its one of the futures we think will help the ethanol industry, Illinois and American Corn Growers.”

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