Glossary

AGE 85:

Aviation Grade Ethanol used in piston engine aircraft. It contains 85% ethanol, along with light hydrocarbons and biodiesel fuel.

BIODIESEL:

A renewable fuel in which soy oil is blended with standard diesel fuel and other additives. Research is underway to develop diesel blends with ethanol.

BIOMASS:

Plant matter such as trees, grasses, crops, and other biological material.

CARBON MONOXIDE:

A deadly gas produced from the tailpipe when cars burn gasoline. Ethanol in unleaded gasoline helps reduce carbon monoxide emissions by as much as 30%.

CLEAN AIR ACT:

In 1990, Congress passed amendments to the Clean Air Act, which set minimum standards for air quality in American cities. Cities with excessive amounts of carbon monoxide and ozone must develop programs to battle air pollution.

CO-PRODUCTS:

Other products made by ethanol plants as a result of ethanol production. Co-products may include livestock feed, corn sweeteners, corn oil, and carbon dioxide.

DRIED DISTILLERS GRAINS (DDG):

A dry mill ethanol production co-product that is fed to livestock; also referred to as DDGS (dried distillers grains with solubles.)

DRY MILL:

An ethanol production process in which the entire corn kernel is first ground into flour before processing. Dry mills also produce dried distillers grains with solubles (DDGS), which is fed to livestock, and carbon dioxide which is used in food processing and bottling. Most new ethanol plants are dry mill facilities

E-10 UNLEADED:

Ordinary unleaded gasoline enhanced with ethanol, which is blended at a rate of 10%. E-10 Unleaded is approved for use by every major automaker in the world.

E85:

A blend of 85% ethanol and 15% ordinary unleaded gasoline that is used in Flexible Fuel Vehicles.

E-DIESEL:

A blend of ethanol and diesel fuel plus other additives designed to reduce air pollution from heavy equipment, city buses, and other vehicles that operate on diesel engines.

ETBE:

Ethyl tertiary butyl ether; a fuel derived from ethanol that offers advantages in terms of lower volatility and blending.

ETHANOL:

A clean-burning, high octane, renewable fuel additive made from grain or other biomass sources.

FLEXIBLE FUEL VEHICLE (FFV):

A car or truck that can run on any blend of unleaded gasoline with up to 85 percent ethanol. A computer in the fuel system automatically compensates for the varying levels of ethanol in the fuel to assure optimum performance at all times.

METHANOL:

A fuel additive made from fossil fuels such as coal, petroleum, and natural gas. Many car warranties do not cover the use of methanol-based fuels, but all do approve the use of ethanol blends.

MTBE:

Methyl tertiary butyl ether; a fuel derived from methanol that has been discovered in groundwater supplies, thus leading to legislation banning its use in many states.

NET ENERGY BALANCE:

The difference between the energy produced and the energy it takes to produce it. Research has shown that ethanol has a net energy balance of 1.67 to 1, meaning that for every 100 BTUs of energy used to make ethanol, 167 BTUs of ethanol are produced.

OCTANE RATING:

The octane rating of a fuel is indicated on the pump, using numbers such as 87, 90, 91, etc. The higher the number, the greater the octane rating of the gasoline. The octane rating represents the “antiknock” properties of the fuel. The higher the number, the slower the fuel burns, and the less likely your engine will knock.

OXYGENATED FUELS:

A fuel such as ethanol-blended gasoline that contains high oxygen content is called “oxygenated.” Ethanol is an oxygenate, meaning that it adds oxygen to the fuel mixture. More oxygen helps the fuel burn more completely, thereby reducing the amount of harmful emissions from the tailpipe.

REFORMULATED GASOLINE (RFG):

A cleaner-burning blend of gasoline that reduces motor fuel emissions. RFG reduces some of the more harmful, toxic compounds and adds more combustible, cleaner-burning compounds. As a result, RFG can be efficiently, safely, and cost-effectively used in today’s cars—using the same refueling methods and with no appreciable difference on vehicle performance. Since 1995, RFG has eliminated approximately 300 million tons of pollution from the nation’s atmosphere.

RENEWABLE FUELS STANDARD (RFS):

Part of proposed federal energy legislation that would set a minimum number of gallons of renewable fuels to be used in the nation’s transportation fuel supply each year. The RFS would include fuels such as ethanol and biodiesel (soy diesel).

VAPOR LOCK:

An engine performance problem due to high vapor pressure in fuel. While ethanol increases the vapor pressure of fuel, state and federal standards continue to lower vapor pressure levels, virtually eliminating vapor lock problems. All major auto manufacturers now use in-tank fuel pumps, which are not subject to the vapor lock problems seen in older in-line fuel pumps.

VEETC:

Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit; 2004 federal legislation that strengthened the nation’s commitment to renewable fuels by extending tax incentives for ethanol and biodiesel, improving flexibility for petroleum companies to blend ethanol, and ensuring that Highway Trust Fund revenues are not adversely affected by increased ethanol use.

VOC:

Volatile organic compounds (VOC) emissions are air pollutants found in engine exhaust and are reduced by 12% with ethanol use.

WET MILL:

An ethanol production facility in which the corn is first soaked or “steeped” in water before processing. Wet mills also have the ability to produce co-products such as industrial starch, food starch, high fructose corn syrup, gluten feed, and corn oils.

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