E85 Ethanol Fuel Stations: Emerging technology could make Ethanol fueling stations commonplace





Roll out of Ethanol fueling stations has been limited by industry and consumer concerns about Ethanol as a fuel. Impacts on food supply and prices, potentially worse environmental damage due to clearing of land and use of petroleum based pesticides and fertilizers, and difficulty of converting existing fuel infrastructure to Ethanol have all limited the expansion of Ethanol fuel stations.

E85 Ethanol fuel stations across America as of 2011. Image by NREL TransAtlas map.

E85 Ethanol fuel stations across America as of 2011. Image by NREL TransAtlas map.

For an interactive map of E85 fuel station locations, visit NREL’s TransAtlas map.

New technological advances in cellulose based Ethanol could change this situation. Cellulose is a waste product which wouldn’t require additional land clearing or chemicals to obtain and would eliminate food market concerns around availability and price of food crops. Recently a report suggested that the U.S. would be unable to meet a federal mandate to produce 16 billion gallons of cellulosic Ethanol by 2022 but Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says he is confident the U.S. will be able to meet or even exceed that goal.

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