Tricia Braid

Apr 23, 2015  |  Today's News

Improving air quality in Illinois is as easy as making a simple switch at the pump to filling up with E15. In fact, if all Illinois motorists were able to make the switch, we’d remove nearly 664,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) from the air each year.

“The choice is clear,” said Lou Lamoreux, a family farmer who raises corn and beef cattle near Lanark, IL. Lamoreux serves as Illinois Corn Marketing Board Chairman. “When motorists use E15 there is no doubt that they’re making a choice that provides benefits to everyone.”

“Moving the Illinois gasoline market to E15 would be like removing 140,000 passenger cars from the road each year. It’s the equivalent of that much tailpipe exhaust that we’re removing from our air. This is really a no-brainer,” Lamoreux added.

Dr. Steffen Mueller, principal researcher at the University of Illinois Chicago Energy Resources Center, put together the numbers that illustrate how E15, a gasoline based fuel that contains 15 percent ethanol, can help clean up the air by reducing greenhouse gas emissions (GHG). These GHG are oftentimes considered to contribute to global climate change. Reduced GHG indicates an increase in energy efficiency. Mueller’s research at the Energy Resources Center is supported by Illinois corn checkoff dollars and the Illinois Corn Marketing Board.

Mueller determined the benefits of E15 as contrasted to regular unleaded gasoline using a model created at Argonne National Laboratory. The so-called GREET model indicates that corn ethanol greenhouse gas emissions are 19-48% (mean=34%) lower than conventional gasoline. Each gallon of E15 saves 1.25 gCO2e/MJ over regular gasoline on a life cycle basis. Mueller pegged yearly gasoline demand in Illinois at 4,553,934,000 gallons.