Ethanol Facts

Production & Consumption

  • Minnesota is the fourth largest producer of ethanol in the U.S.
  • There are 200 ethanol plants in the U.S. and they converted 3.8 billion bushels of corn into more than 10.6 billion gallons of renewable ethanol in 2009.
  • New technologies allow ethanol producers to capture and output products such as corn oil, recoverable carbon dioxide, corn syrup and bio-based chemicals — all of which add value to the plant beyond the traditional output of feed and fuel.
  • One bushel of corn yields about 2.8 gallons of ethanol.
  • Dairy cattle, swine and poultry industries are benefiting from a diet supplemented with high protein, nutrient-rich distillers grains, displacing the need for corn and soybean meal.
  • One third of every bushel of corn used for ethanol is returned to the feed market.
  • Ethanol production consumed about 21% of the nation’s total corn supply in 2009.

The Economy

  • In 2009, the production of ethanol helped support nearly 400,000 jobs in all sectors of the economy.
  • A typical 40 million gallon ethanol plant creates 32 full-time jobs and generates an additional $1.2 million in tax revenue for a community.
  • The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that for every 1 billion gallons of ethanol produced, 10,000-20,000 jobs will be added.
  • In 2009, ethanol production contributed $53.3 billion to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

The Environment

  • Studies show ethanol reduces greenhouse gas emissions between 59-61% compared to gasoline.
  • The use of 10.6 billion gallons of ethanol in 2009 reduced greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles by 16.5 million metric tons, the equivalent of removing 2.7 million vehicles from the road.
  • One acre of corn can produce enough ethanol to run a car for some 72,000 miles on E10 Unleaded.
  • For every barrel of ethanol produced, 1.2 barrels of petroleum are displaced.
  • There are some 7 million “flexible fuel” vehicles on America’s highways that can run on up to 85% ethanol (E85).
  • A flexible fuel vehicle can run on any combination of gasoline and ethanol up to 85% ethanol. You can fill up with E85 one time, E10 Unleaded the next and ordinary unleaded the next (a computer in the vehicle fuel system automatically adjusts for the level of ethanol in the fuel mix).

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Myths vs. Facts

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