Ethanol is an alcohol fuel made from the sugars found in grains, such as:
Other sources of sugars to produce ethanol include:
- Potato skins
- Sugar cane
- Sugar beets
- Yard clippings
Most of the ethanol used in the United States today is distilled from corn. Scientists are working on cheaper ways to make ethanol by using all parts of plants and trees rather than just the grain. Farmers are experimenting with "woody crops," mostly small poplar trees and switchgrass, to see if they can be grown cheaply and abundantly.
Ethanol Is Blended With Gasoline
About 99% of the ethanol produced in the United States is used to make "E10" or "gasohol," a mixture of 10% ethanol and 90% gasoline. Any gasoline powered engine can use E10, but only specially made vehicles can run on E85, a fuel that is 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline, is mainly sold in the Midwest.