Unlike petroleum-based fossil fuels that are in limited supply, ethanol is a renewable fuel made from plants we grow right here in America.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, average corn ethanol reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 43 percent compared to gasoline when measured on an energy equivalent basis.  In 2013, the 13.3 billion gallons of ethanol produced reduced greenhouse gas emissions from on-road vehicles by 38 million metric tons.  That’s equivalent to removing 8 million cars from the road.

Ethanol is carbon neutral: there is no net increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide from burning ethanol because the carbon dioxide produced simply replaces the carbon dioxide the corn plant takes from the air in photosynthesis. (Graphic source: Renewable Fuels Association)

Ethanol contains 35 percent oxygen. Because ethanol contains oxygen and helps fuel combust more completely, the use of ethanol in automotive fuel:

  • Reduces tailpipe carbon monoxide emissions by as much as 30 percent.
  • Reduces exhaust VOC emissions by 12 percent.
  • Reduces particulate emissions, especially fine particulates that are especially hazardous to children, seniors and those with respiratory diseases.


Ethanol blended gasoline has helped dozens of American cities comply with federal clean air standards. In fact, the American Lung Association of Metropolitan Chicago credits ethanol-blended gasoline with reducing smog-forming emissions by 25 percent since 1990.