ABOUT CHIEF ETHANOL FUELS, INC.
A pioneer in the ethanol industry, Chief Ethanol Fuels, Inc. is Nebraska’s first dry-mill ethanol plant and remains committed to producing renewable fuel and high-quality feed today. The plant is a continuous flow Vogelbusch process.
Ethanol Co-products for Animal Feed
The starch that is removed from the corn kernels is used to make ethanol. The remaining nutrient-rich material is concentrated into distillers grains and condensed distillers solubles.
The solubles are made into a syrup and added back to the distillers grain for higher nutritional value as a wet (WDGS) or dry (DDGS) product.
Fuel Choice and Ethanol Resources
Chief understands that there are both advantages and disadvantages of vehicle fuel choices whether it is gasoline, various blends of ethanol-blended gasoline, hybrids, or even electric. It is unlikely that there is only one option that will fit all transportation needs. Chief supports having vehicle fuel choices.
Our intent is to provide additional information regarding the use of ethanol-blended fuel. A number of studies have been conducted, supporting the benefits of ethanol
CO2 and Energy Use
The amount of CO2 produced during fermentation is theoretically 6.29 lbs per ethanol gallon produced. This may seem like a lot but the amount of carbon released during fermentation is just a fraction of the corn plant’s uptake during its lifecycle. This carbon is from a renewable source rather than from fossil fuels. Energy use varies based on the specific ethanol plant, but with increased process efficiencies throughout the industry, the energy required to produce a gallon of ethanol continues to decrease significantly with time. USDA research shows that there are 2.3 units of energy in ethanol for every unit of energy used in the production process. See the Nebraska Corn Board Biofuel Link for more info. Biofuels | Nebraska Corn Board
Vehicle Fuel Compatibility
Car manufacturers make vehicles ethanol compatible with materials that are proper for the fuel and are typically rated up through E15 to take advantage of ethanol’s benefits. The Growth Energy Link included indicates there have been over 25 billion miles of driving using E15 and more than 96% of cars (2001 and newer) on the road are approved by EPA for E15 use. (Growth Energy – Supporting American Ethanol and Biofuels)
GHG Emissions, Tax Subsidies and Incentives, Food, Electric Vehicles
Our industry has goals to have net zero lifecycle GHG emissions by 2050. Ethanol is already cutting greenhouse gas emissions by almost half compared to gasoline. As an ethanol producer we currently receive no regular direct payments or subsidies from Federal or State Programs. There are some tax incentives that support a variety of renewable sources of energy including wind and solar. Our industry also produces high value animal feed co-products that include protein, fat and fiber not used in the ethanol production process. Through these co-products, we help feed the animals that help feed the world. Electric vehicles are not the sole answer to be net zero and are not truly zero emission vehicles when considering the source of the electricity and processes used to make the vehicle.
Fuel Economy and Energy Content
Chief acknowledges that ethanol has less btu content when compared with gasoline. However, some people have reported similar to better gas mileage when using E15 to E30 blends compared to E10. E85 typically sees a reduction of gas mileage but is priced cheaper so many people choose to do the math for cost per mile instead of miles per gallon.
Engine Design and Ethanol’s High Octane Benefits
We love seeing Nascar and the Indy racing leagues utilizing E15 and higher blends of ethanol for its benefits. Many in the industry wish vehicles would be designed to harness the higher octane value in ethanol allowing a higher compression engine design that improves engine performance and make vehicles more efficient. The Indy racing league does this well!