Ethanol: Food, Feed and Fuel

July 31, 2008

Fuel prices and higher world grain demand are the primary drivers of the increase in food prices, according to a new report released today.

The report, The Impact of Ethanol Production on Food, Feed and Fuel, was produced by Ethanol Across America and co-sponsored by the Nebraska Ethanol Board. The findings confirm a recent study by Purdue University, which found that record high oil prices have caused 75% of the inflation in corn prices.

Ethanol is reducing gas prices. In Nebraska, about 77% of all gasoline sold contains ethanol. E10 is typically 10 cents cheaper than regular and economists have found that ethanol production lowers oil prices by 15% nationwide. Ethanol will save Nebraska motorists more than $70 million at the pump during 2008 according to the Nebraska Ethanol Board.

Ethanol Board Chairman Jim Jenkins said that ethanol generates a resounding economic benefit to Nebraska by lowering gas prices and providing livestock producers with lower-cost feeding alternatives.

As a cattle producer and restaurant owner, I am directly impacted by skyrocketing energy prices. High energy costs hit everyone hard, but Nebraska ethanol is lowering gas prices. Ethanol also provides relief for the livestock producer with high quality, low cost feed in the form of distillers grains, Jenkins said. The Nebraska economy is significantly better off as a result of our $4 billion ethanol industry, which has made our state a net exporter of motor fuels.

Todd Sneller, administrator of the Nebraska Ethanol Board, said the report confirms what he hass seen in other studies: that high energy prices and world demand are the leading factors in higher food prices.

The vast majority of food costs are from processing and transportation, so obviously high energy prices affect food prices much more than the price of corn, Sneller said. Meanwhile ethanol is lowering gas prices for everyone.

The Impact of Ethanol Production on Food, Feed and Fuel is available for download on the Resources page at

Special Presentation Speakers for July 18 Ethanol Board Meeting

July 16, 2008

Dr. Rolando Flores and Dr. Galen Erickson of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln will be the featured speakers at the July 18 meeting of the Nebraska Ethanol Board.

Dr. Rolando Flores will discuss corn fractionation and the potential for more production of ethanol and other byproducts using less corn. Flores is professor and head of the Department of Food Science Technology at UN-L.

Galen Erickson will discuss livestock feeding and ethanol co-products. Erickson is an associate professor and beef feedlot extension specialist at the Animal Science Department at UN-L.

The Nebraska Ethanol Board will meet on July 18, 2008 at 8:30 a.m. The meeting will be held at the Holiday Inn Express, 508 Second Avenue South, Kearney. Special presentations will begin around 10 a.m. Visit to download an agenda for Friday’s board meeting.

Established in 1971, the Ethanol Board assists ethanol producers with programs and strategies for marketing ethanol and related co-products. The Board supports organizations and policies that advocate the increased use of ethanol fuels and administers public information, education and ethanol research projects. The Board also assists companies and organizations in the development of ethanol production facilities in Nebraska. For more information, please visit

NPPD Considers Integrated Ethanol and Electricity Production

June 17, 2008

Nebraska Public Power District is considering an investment in a Combined Heat and Power pilot project at one of Nebraska’s 21 operating ethanol plants. The project will use gases, heat and other byproducts of the ethanol production process to generate electricity.

Visit the Nebraska Ethanol Board website at for a map of ethanol plants.

For more information, contact:

John O’Connor

Business Development Manager

Nebraska Public Power District

1327 H Street, Suite 2

Lincoln, NE 68508


402-480-2358 (c)

Oil and Water

June 4, 2008

A disinformation campaign, financed by international oil refiners and food processors, continues to distort basic facts about ethanol. Consumers and policy makers may wish to consider the following facts about two specific topics related to fuels.

More water is required to refine gasoline than ethanol. It takes 44 gallons of water to refine a single gallon of oil into gasoline, but only four gallons of water to produce a gallon of ethanol. Future ethanol production could use only 1.5 gallons of water for every gallon of ethanol as the process becomes more efficient.

Almost every manufacturing process requires the use of water. It takes 12 gallons of water to produce a slice of bread, 37 gallons for a cup of coffee, 150 gallons for a newspaper, and 4,400 gallons for a pair of leather shoes. More than 21,600 gallons of water are applied to the average residential lawn.

Many figures that purport to estimate water use in the ethanol production process include the amount of water it takes to grow corn, but 96% of the corn in the U.S. is grown with rain water rather than irrigation. One acre of corn gives off about 3,000 gallons of water per day through transpiration. Wet distillers feed produced as a co-product of ethanol production includes water which is consumed by livestock as the ration is used.

Critics of ethanol cite water use as a detriment, but it’s clear that it takes less water to make a gallon of ethanol than a gallon of gas. Technological innovation will continue to reduce water used in ethanol production, said Todd Sneller, administrator of the Nebraska Ethanol Board.

Record high gas prices prove the advantage of ethanol in the marketplace. Gas will soon be more than $4 in many Nebraska locations. Weekly data released yesterday by the Energy Information Administration pegged the national gasoline price average at $3.97 — up 82 cents a gallon from the same week last year.

This is the consequence of oil recently surging past $130 a barrel. And yet a coalition of vocal biofuel opponents is agitating to cap or roll back biofuel production. What would that do to the picture?

Economist John Urbanchuk calculates the initial impact of taking biofuels off the market would jack up the price of oil another 27.5 percent.

Urbanchuk also found that removing 4.5 billion gallons of ethanol from the U.S. market by waiving part of the Renewable Fuels Standard would cause gas prices to spike an additional $1.10 per gallon.

The presence of ethanol fuels in the market is projected to save Nebraska motorists more than $70 million during 2008. Ethanol burns cleaner, it reduces our dependence on foreign oil, it lowers gas prices, and it uses less water than gas, Sneller said. Ethanol is the best choice for Nebraska.

Ethanol Price Advisory

May 19, 2008

A growing supply of ethanol in Nebraska provides consumers with an opportunity to save money at the fuel pump as ethanol prices remain lower than gasoline. Many consumers can buy E10, the traditional ten percent blend of ethanol in gasoline, for a dime per gallon less than unleaded regular gasoline.

E10 blended fuel is typically sold as mid-grade because of its higher octane content. More than 73% of all gasoline sold in Nebraska today contains ethanol. Consumers also have an opportunity to purchase E85, an alternative fuel designed for Flexible Fuel Vehicles (FFVs), first introduced in 1992. E85 is specifically intended for use in FFVs. E85 often costs 20% less than unleaded regular.

Because ethanol prices are cheaper than gasoline, some fuel marketers now offer unconventional blends of ethanol such as E17 and E24. Fuel which contains more than 10% ethanol should only be used in Flexible Fuel Vehicles. All vehicles manufactured since 1979 can use the conventional E10 ethanol blend.

State law requires that fuels, including all ethanol blends, be properly labeled at the pump. Consumers should look closely at the pump to ensure it’s the correct fuel for the vehicle. Ethanol will continue to offer consumers an opportunity to save money at the pump. The Nebraska Ethanol Board estimates that Nebraska consumers will save more than $70 million during 2008 because of the lower cost for ethanol fuels.

Consumers who have questions about ethanol fuels can visit the Nebraska Ethanol Board website at for more information.