E85 as a green fuel
Produced from renewable sources such as agricultural crops, ethanol used as motor fuel offers a way to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from transportation sources. Read more about the specifics in our FAQs and Facts section.
The Environmental Protection Agency has said that E85 can provide important reductions in GHG emissions. Read information from the EPA about renewable fuels. Here is a breakout of potential GHG reductions by biofuel type.
Cellulosic biofuel is a fuel derived from the cellulose, hemicellulose, or lignin components of renewable biomass, and produces at least 60 percent fewer GHG emissions as compared to conventional petroleum fuel on a full life-cycle basis.
Advanced biofuel is a fuel, other than ethanol derived from cornstarch, that is derived from renewable biomass and produces at least 50 percent fewer GHG emissions as compared to conventional petroleum fuel on a full life-cycle basis.
Conventional biofuel is ethanol derived from cornstarch that produces at least 20 percent fewer GHG emissions as compared to conventional petroleum fuel on a life-cycle basis.
In the next ten years, the Federal Renewable Fuels Standard requires that more biofuels be marketed to American consumers, and that a greater percentage of those biofuels be advanced or cellulosic biofuels—which have a greater impact on GHG emissions.
Meanwhile, most automakers are increasing production of FFVs. The big three American car companies have committed that 50 percent of the vehicles they sell will be flex-fuel by the 2015 model year.
Increased use of lower-emitting biofuels combined with more FFVs on the road will help increase biofuels’ environmental impact over time.