e15pumpA Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) director says the auto industry’s path to improved fuel economy will include higher blends of ethanol.

Randall Doyal, CEO of Al-Corn Clean Fuel in southeast Minnesota, says the ethanol industry is keeping up with advancements in automobile technology. “We’re trying to get a higher and higher fuel economy, and the auto industry is saying that the way to get there is through higher compression, smaller and lighter engines that produce more horsepower from less, but require higher-octane fuels. And they are looking at somewhere around 30 percent ethanol,” Doyal says.

Iowa is the nation’s top ethanol producer. Doyal says the RFA is hitting some roadblocks as the organization works to educate consumers on the benefits of E-15 and higher blends of ethanol.

“It’s always been a frustration to me that, in the U.S., we’ve listened to oil folks and others who’ve said that you can’t even use 10 percent blend…yet, you can drive any car that we make in the U.S. down to Brazil and you’re going to be running on 27 percent ethanol and your car will do just fine,” Doyal said.

Doyal, who recently completed his term as RFA chairman, says more infrastructure is needed to facilitate higher ethanol blends and provide additional choices at the pump. According to the Iowa Corn Grower’s Association, around 47 percent (1.3 billion bushels) of the corn grown in Iowa is used to create nearly 30 percent of all American ethanol.

(Thanks Mark Dorenkamp, Brownfield Ag News)