As gas prices bounce back up to their highest levels yet, Iowans increasingly are turning to ethanol blend fuels, which can be several cents a gallon cheaper than plain gasoline. Christi VanderVoort is Iowa coordinator for a group that promotes the high-ethanol blend known as “E-85.” She doesn’t hesitate to say the alcohol fuel has its drawbacks. She explains the science: there are fewer BTU’s British Thermal Units, in a gallon of ethanol, so you have less energy than in gasoline. Still, she’s seen prices 20- to 30-cents lower at the pump which means it’s still a better value. She says that offsets the mileage difference and you “still have a few pennies left in your wallet.” You may already be driving a “flexible-fuel” vehicle that’s capable of burning high-ethanol “E-85” fuel. “It’s flexible,” she explains, saying she’ll fill up at home in Orange City at one of the state’s E-85 pumps, but when she’s driven to Des Moines, where there’s no high-ethanol fuel, she can fill up the same Chevy Suburban with E-10, the standard ethanol blend at most gas pumps. It’s no problem, she says, because a computer module in the engine reads the oxygen level of the fuel and adjusts the timing and injection all by itself. Other models of everyday vehicles from many top manufacturers are flexible-fuel ready, and to find out if yours is one, surf to the groupo’s website to find a list or find out how to check your VIN number for a code that tells if it can burn high-ethanol fuel.