e85 grants

Unlike many states in the northeast, Indiana, a state in America’s corn belt, is taking the right steps to help their retailers upgrade their fuel tanks to allow dispensing of e85 fuel. Indiana is beginning to offer their retailers grants to help convert their fuel tanks to hold e85 ethanol fuel. Retailers can expect grants up to $5,000.

As many retailers know, upgrading their fuel tanks to distribute e85 ethanol fuel can be a very expensive endeavor. The Indiana Corn Marketing Council hopes to offer as much help as possible to any retailer that will help promote and distribute e85.

According to representatives of the Indiana Corn Marketing Council, their grant plus the corn checkoff grant program can pay big dividends to local retailers should the state of Indiana raise the corn checkoff to $20,000 which is currently proposed.

Currently in the state of Indiana, there is just below 100 e85 stations.

With the help of this grant, this should help may new retailers in Indiana convert to e85 tanks. The Indiana Corn Marketing Council is trying to make e85 fuel mainstream to everyone who have already done the correct thing and gone out and bought a flex-fuel automobile, a car that uses E85 or regular gasoline.

Hopefully other states in the United States will consider such grants them selfs. With little e85 penetration in the nation’s east coast grants such as these will allow e85 to gain a good foot hold for the United States to rely less on foreign oil.

e85 Ferrari

e85 Ferrari unveiled at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit

Monday, Ferrari revealed a e85 concept car that can run on ethanol. A Ferrari spokesperson said that it showcased the e85 ethanol car because of their engineering experience in Formula One and the bubbling demand for alternative fuel or flex-fuel vehicles in America.

The handsome Ferrari F430 Spider Bio-fuel utilizes E85, a blend of fuel that is comprised of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline.

While at the North American International Auto Show, Amadeo Felisa, Ferrari’s chief executive, described Ferrari’s commitment to drastically reduce their car’s emissions by forty percent by 2012.

According to the executive, Ferrari had prior experience with e85 in Formula one racing. When racing, Formula One has regulations that say all the cars used in races must use fuel that is comprised of 5.75 percent biomass.

On the other hand, The FIA GT and the American Le Mans racing series have somewhat stricter policies. Those races require drivers to use race car’s that operate with e10 or ten percent ethanol.

In order for Ferrari to create the F430 Spider Bio-fuel, Ferrari engineers had to do some minor tweaks to the car’s engine. The engineers had to make changes to the fuel injection system and they had to change settings in the Ferrari’s engine computer. This resulted in lower carbon dioxide emissions – a five percent cut – and as an added bonus, it also increased the car’s power output with no changes to the car’s weight.

This looks to be quite the Ferrari for anyone who is looking for a very sporty e85 car.

e85 Ethanol from Switchgrass

It seems that Switchgrass might be a much better idea then corn for the production of e85 ethanol. Right now, the technology is in its infancy since researchers are still hammering out the details.

In bio-refineries, switchgrass can be reduced into simple sugars including glucose and xylose. These sugars can then be fermented into ethanol in a similar fashion to corn. The primary sources for ethanol production in the United States are grain from corn and other annual cereal grains, such as sorghum. While switchgrass ethanol is chemically identical to ethanol made from corn, soybeans or sorghum, cellulose ethanol shows a net energy content three times greater than grain ethanol and emits a low net level of greenhouse gases.

switchgrass for e85 ethanol production

With growing concerns of national food prices, switchgrass may help curb the worrying. Switchgrass has an incredible benefit to be used in ethanol production since it is not used by the population for food. According to data received on farm studies, researches from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Switchgrass that was produced for biofuel production made 540 percent greater energy than it needed to grow, then harvest and finally produce ethanol.

Perhaps farmers can now begin to grow corn again strictly for food production instead of ethanol. If farmers decide that, it may be able to get the price of corn per bushel back to reasonable levels seen only a couple of years ago. This will also help many other markets that use similar grains for feeding livestock.

The only thing that holds switchgrass back is research in cellulosic ethanol. If Ethanol made from cellulose, it will emit 80 percent less global warming pollutions than gasoline. Currently cellulosic ethanol is still in research phase and it may take a few years before a major change is made in the Ethanol Industry.