September 9, 2015

Renewable Fuels Offer Consumers Choices at the Pump

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

Nebraskans 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 American Ethanol or biodiesel. In September, Nebraskans can celebrate these choices with the recent proclamation of “September is Renewable Fuels Month” by Gov. Pete Ricketts (see photo on the right).

Biofuels come in many different blends and can be found all over the country. Most vehicles can fill up with E10, vehicles newer than 2001 can use E15, while flex fuel vehicle (FFV) owners can fill up with flex fuel blends from E20 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 American Ethanol and 15 percent regular unleaded gasoline.

Finding the fuel choice for your vehicle is simple. “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 American Ethanol up to E85. If you don’t have an FFV and it’s newer than 2001, you can fill up with any American Ethanol blend up to E15,” said Tim Scheer, farmer from St. Paul, Nebraska and past chairman of the Nebraska Corn Board.

When consumers make the choice to put these renewable fuels in their fuel tank, they are choosing their energy future. A future with renewable fuels is less reliant on the oil industry and its negative impacts on our environment. By using renewable fuels, they will also diversify their fuel sources to positively impact America’s economic and national security, which ensures a healthier future for the environment.

“Renewable biofuels offer consumers a wealth of benefits when they fuel up at the pump,” added Scheer. “While there are a lot of options to choose from, the decision to use these renewable blends is an easy one. It is cost-effective, American-made, renewable and better for our environment and consumer health.”

While biofuels are better for the environment, many motorists are also pleased to know it is better for their engines. Evidence shows that ethanol keeps engines clean by preventing build-up in the fuel injection system and reducing tailpipe emissions. Additionally, since it is water-soluble and has a low freezing point, it helps prevent a vehicle’s 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, and when using biodiesel motorists won’t be sacrificing fuel economy or performance. Whether you drive a car, truck, semi, or farm equipment, biodiesel is made to work in any diesel engine.

“With today’s innovative engine advancements, biodiesel now has a place for every diesel engine. It has been proven the fuel provides similar fuel economy, horsepower, and torque as regular fuel,” states Ron Pavelka, farmer from Glenvil, Nebraska and chairman of the Nebraska Soybean Board. “Whether it be in town, on the interstate, or steering down the rows of a field, renewable fuels are home-grown and here to stay.”

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