Ethanol is a renewable fuel made from corn and other plant materials. More than 98 percent of U.S. gasoline contains ethanol, typically E10 (10 percent ethanol, 90 percent gasoline), to oxygenate the fuel and reduce air pollution. Ethanol is very widespread – practically all gasoline sold in the U.S. contains ethanol in a low-level blend. However, ethanol is also available in a high-level blend as E85 for use in flexible fuel vehicles.
Ethanol is also available as E85 (or flex fuel), which can be used in flexible fuel vehicles, designed to operate on any blend of gasoline and ethanol up to 83 percent. Another blend, E15, is approved for use in model year 2001 and newer vehicles.
The carbon dioxide released by a vehicle when ethanol is burned is offset by the carbon dioxide captured when the feedstock crops are grown to produce ethanol. This differs from gasoline and diesel, which are refined from petroleum extracted from the earth. No emissions are offset when these petroleum products are burned.
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