September 2, 2014

Consumers have Choices with Renewable Fuels


September is Renewable Fuels Month!
Part One of a Four-Part Series for Renewable Fuels Month

shutterstock_96735895Nebraskans have the choice of what type of fuel they put in their vehicle when they fill up. These options are available thanks to renewable biofuels such as ethanol or biodiesel. In September, Nebraskans can celebrate these choices with the recent proclamation of “September is Renewable Fuels Month” by Gov. Dave Heineman.

When consumers make the choice to put a renewable fuel in their fuel tank, they are choosing their energy future.  That future with renewable fuels looks like less reliance on the oil industry’s negative impacts on our environment. Also, by diversifying our fuel sources to positively impact America’s economic and national security, we can ensure a healthier future for the environment.

These choices of biofuels come in many different blends and can be found all over the country. Most vehicles can fill up with E10, while flex fuel vehicle (FFV) owners can fill up with flex fuel blends from E0 up to E85. Biodiesel blends can usually be found at levels of B5, B10 or B20.  Blend rates are identified by the number following the letter, so B20 is comprised of 20 percent biodiesel and 80 percent regular diesel fuel, whereas E85 is 85 percent ethanol 15 percent regular unleaded gasoline.

pic_2“We know that consumers have a choice when they come to the pump to fill up with fuel,” said Tim Scheer, farmer from St. Paul, Nebraska and chairman of the Nebraska Corn Board. “While there are so many choices when it comes to biofuels, consumers know that these choices are better for their engines.”

While biofuels are better for the environment, more importantly to many motorists is the fact that they are better for our engines. Evidence shows that ethanol keeps your engine clean by preventing build-up in the fuel injection system, reduces tailpipe emissions, and since it is water-soluble and has a low freezing point, it helps prevent your gas line from freezing up in cold weather.

Biodiesel also offers many benefits, such as added engine lubricity and reduced greenhouse gas emissions. Another benefit is that you do not need to modify your engine to run biodiesel. Whether you drive a car, truck, semi, or farm equipment, biodiesel is made to work in any diesel engine.

Yellow_GasCap (2)Finding the fuel choice for your vehicle is simple, said Kim Clark, director of biofuels development for the Nebraska Corn Board. “The main thing to know is if you have a flex fuel vehicle (FFV) or not. If you do have an FFV, you can fill up with any blend of ethanol up to E85. If you don’t have an FFV and it’s newer than 2001, you can fill up with any ethanol blend up to E15.”

Motorists can use this chart to help determine what blends of renewable biofuels they can use in their car.

What do you own?



Any blend from E0 to E85 (look for E20, E30, E50, etc.)

B1-B20 (Diesel Vehicles Only)

Vehicle Older than 2001


Vehicle newer than 2001


Flex Fuel Vehicle
(look for the insignia on your vehicle, a yellow gas cap or check your owner’s manual)


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