Make a Clean Air Choice

Motor vehicle emissions are a widely recognized source of harmful airborne pollutants that cause lung disease and other adverse health and environmental impacts. These known airborne pollutants include harmful tailpipe particulate matter, toxic carcinogenic compounds such as benzene, and greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide. In response to this widespread release of harmful airborne pollutants, the American Lung Association of the Upper Midwest suggests that consumers make a Clean Air Choice and choose American Ethanol. 

 

E85 Information and Facts

 

Better for the Environment

  1. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, each gallon of corn ethanol today delivers as much as 2.3 times more energy than is used to produce it.
  2. The use of E85 results in a reduction in greenhouse emissions of nearly 40%, and ozone-forming pollutants significantly. It also reduces exhaust volatile organic compounds (VOC) emissions by 12%.
  3. According to Dr. Michael Wang of Argonne National Laboratory, one gallon of ethanol reduces CO2 emissions by 6.41 pounds. Recent research has found that CO2 is the largest contributor of global climate change, the term used to categorize significant climate changes that are detrimental to human and plant life.
  4. Work from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln found today’s ethanol reduces direct GHG emissions between 48-59% compared to gasoline.

High Octane Performance

  1. Ethanol has an octane rating of 113.
  2. As of 2011 NASCAR has been using E15 which is a 15% blend of ethanol fuel providing high performance and cleaner burning engines.
 

Better for the Economy

  1. In 2011, the production of nearly 14 billion gallons of ethanol helped support more than 401,000 jobs in all sectors of the economy.
  2. The average ethanol facility employs approximately 50 individuals, including chemists, engineers, accountants, managers, and all levels of support staff.
  3. Ethanol production has continued to expand geographically, with 209 ethanol bio refineries now operating in 29 states, bringing economic opportunity to tens of thousands of Americans, many of whom live in rural areas.

Sustainable

  1. The amount of agricultural land required to produce 15 billion gallons of grain ethanol in the United States by 2015, as required by the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA), is likely to be less than 1 percent of total world cropland.
  2. One-third of every bushel of grain processed into ethanol is enhanced and returned to the animal feed market in the form of distillers grains, corn gluten feed or corn gluten meal.
  3. 1 bushel of corn = 2.8 gallons of ethanol, 17.5 pounds of livestock feed (distillers grains) and 18 pounds of carbon dioxide.

 

Flex Fuel Vehicle Owners

There are several ways to determine if you have a Flex Fuel Vehicle.

  1. Check the gas cap. A lot of times the cap is yellow and says E85/Gasoline like in the picture below.
  2. If the gas cap is not yellow, check the inside of the fuel door. There is usually a sticker on the fuel door that indicates if your vehicle can use E85 fuel.
  3. Most of the newer Flex-Fuel Vehicles have decals on the vehicle like the pictures below. Some decals are on the rear of the vehicle and some are in the back or right front window.
  4. Consult with your owner's manual. Usually the 'fuel section' of the owner's manual will indicate if you can use E85 fuel in your vehicle.
 

Ozone Facts

Ozone (O3) is gas compound made up of three oxygen atoms that is usually found in two regions of the Earth’s atmosphere. Depending on the location, ozone can be good or bad.

The majority of ozone is found in the upper levels of Earth’s atmosphere - 6 to 30 miles above the surface of the Earth and is responsible for protecting us from the sun’s harmful rays.

Ground-level ozone is created when nitrogen oxides (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) react in the presence of heat and sunlight. These precursor emissions are caused by the burning of fossil fuels, particularly gasoline from motor vehicles. Unlike the protective ozone layer in the upper atmosphere, ground-level ozone is a hazard to human health.

Just remember: Good up high, bad nearby! 

Ozone Health Impacts

Ozone can cause many health problems including coughing, throat irritation, chest pain, airway inflammation, reduced lung function, and the triggering of asthma. These health effects can lead to an increase in school and workplace absences and more visits to the hospital. Studies also suggest that exposure to ground-level ozone increases the risk of premature death from lung or heart disease. Children, older adults, people with asthma, and people who are active outdoors may be more susceptible to the negative impacts of ozone.

The public can limit their exposure of unsafe levels of ozone through a few simple steps. Check the daily Air Quality Index value by visiting AirNow.gov, subscribing to EnviroFlash, or using local media sources. For days where ozone is likely to be a problem, both sensitive and healthy groups should use caution by avoiding outdoor activities that require prolonged or heavy exertion.

To Reduce Pollution on Ozone Action Days: 

  • Walk
  • Bike
  • Carpool
  • Use public transportation
  • Fill up with biofuels like American Ethanol
  • Reduce trips
  • Limit engine idling
  • Refuel in the evening when it is cooler
  • Turn off lights
  • Unplug electronic devices not in use
  • Set air conditioners to a higher temperature
 

Air Quality Index

The Air Quality Index (AQI) is a daily measure of local air pollution for over 800 counties in the United States. It is designed to provide the general public with information on the health risks for specific concentrations of air pollution. The AQI takes into account five major air pollutants that are regulated by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA): ground-level ozone, particle pollution, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen dioxide. While each of these pollutants have their own inherent health risks, ground-level ozone and particle pollution are the main components to local air quality.

As shown below, each category is given a distinct color in order to better communicate the health threat to the general public.