GALESBURG, Ill.--With support from Illinois corn checkoff dollars, Illinois's newest E85 fuel pump opened this week and has already pumped over 1,000 gallons of corn-based renewable energy, providing power and performance at an affordable price point.
Illinois Corn Marketing Board (ICMB), American Lung Association in Illinois, and Big River Resources, Inc. leveraged checkoff and private industry dollars to offer grant monies that supported the installation of an E85 dispenser at the newly opened Hy-Vee Gas station in Galesburg.
"Illinois Corn Marketing Board knows that this is a great investment of Illinois corn farmers' checkoff dollars," said Tom Mueller, ICMB Vice-Chairman from Taylor Ridge. "With corn prices below the cost of production for most people, building demand quickly is key. New E85 pumps mean that more ethanol can flow and that increases corn demand."
Motorists who fill up in the Galesburg area have long hoped for an E85 option. Despite the availability of the fuel at a nearby ethanol plant and interest in the local community, fueling stations just hadn't made the change until Hy-Vee saw the opportunity. This Hy-Vee Gas location now offers a convenient option for motorists in Galesburg and Knox County.
"The checkoff board couldn't be more pleased to partner with Hy-Vee on making this fuel available to their customers. Like more than 90% off all our corn farms, Hy-Vee is family owned and focuses on quality and value. That's exactly what we focus on with E85; high quality fuel that performs at a value as contrasted to regular unleaded gasoline," explained Mueller. Mueller attended the Hy-Vee Gas grand opening event on January 29, 2016. He was joined by local and state officials, corn farmers, and members of the local business community.
E85 can only be used in Flex Fuel Vehicles (FFVs). Drivers filling up with E85 at Galesburg will be supporting their local economy through their purchase as the corn-based ethanol fuel is made from local corn at a nearby Big River Resources, Inc., ethanol plant in Galva from corn grown in Knox County. Each tank full of E85 also supports the environment.
By using E85, an FFV driver will reduce CO2 emissions to the atmosphere by 4 tons. E85 use reduces ozone-forming pollution by 20% and reduces life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions nearly 30%. This homegrown, renewable, plant-based fuel is a sharp contrast to gasoline which contains toxic compounds like benzene, toluene, and xylene. Drivers using E85 help reduce the release of these chemicals into the environment.
This new Hy-Vee Gas station located at 1925 N. Henderson Street in Galesburg is the first new location capable of carrying higher blends of ethanol to be opened in 2016. ICMB encourages farmers and motorists to get an account at www.e85prices.com/illinois.html and start reporting their price experiences on E85 and other higher blends at the more than 275 gas stations in Illinois offering E85 and other higher blends of ethanol.