sign up for more information

Name and Email address are required.

Flex Fuel Finder
"It starts with us. Once you’ve explained the benefits of ethanol and dispelled the myths, you have a customer for life. By using alternative fuels we are creating more local jobs, supporting our local communities, securing our energy independence and impacting our environment more positively. Ethanol is greener, cleaner and burns clearer."
- Scott Zaremba, President and CEO of Zarco 66 Earth Friendly Fuels. Lawrence, Kansas

For Retailers


Frequently Asked Questions for Retailers

If you have a question about ethanol, send us a note.

  1. I have installed a flex fuel pump. How do I get the word out?
  2. Does ethanol affect food prices?
  3. Is there support for higher blends?
  4. Does it take more energy to produce a gallon of ethanol than the energy we get out of it?
  5. Why would consumers be interested in a blender (flex fuel) pump?
  6. How many flex fuel vehicles (FFVs) are on the road?
  7. Is flex fuel pump installation complicated?

I have installed a flex fuel pump. How do I get the word out?

Growth Energy has developed a P.O.P. and station imaging kit to assist retailers in advertising the availability of high- and mid-level blends of ethanol. We can help you with station imaging like banners and curbside signs, send postcards to flex fuel vehicle owners in your area or provide newspaper advertising with room for your station logo. Visit our marketing support section to learn more about these valuable tools.

Return to top


Does ethanol affect food prices?

  • Ethanol has a marginal impact on food prices.
  • In 2011, ethanol used less than three percent of the global grain supply.
  • Approximately 3 percent of food production costs are related to corn prices.
  • In contrast, 80 percent of food prices are directly determined by: transportation, processing, packaging and marketing.

Return to top


Is there support for higher blends?

Research studies support increasing ethanol blends from E10 to at least E15.

  • In a landmark study completed in 2008, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory found no significant changes in the operation of vehicles when E15 and E20 were compared to conventional gasoline.
  • In a 2008 report on E20 prepared by the Rochester Institute of Technology and submitted to Congress, researchers found no issues on a fleet of 10 aging cars used in the city’s vehicle fleet. Those “legacy” vehicles were driven nearly 75,000 miles apiece using E20 without any issue that could be attributed to the fuel.

The Benefits

  • As gas prices continue to rise, mid-range ethanol blends are the cost-efficient solution.
    Ethanol is historically cheaper than conventional gasoline, meaning the higher the blend, the cheaper the fuel. Research has shown mid-level blends increase mileage, thereby reducing out-of-pocket fuel costs.
  • Ethanol blends offer an environmentally conscious solution. All levels of ethanol-enriched fuel emit less carbon monoxide and other greenhouse emissions than conventional gasoline and meet EPA requirements. However, the higher levels of ethanol available through alternative blends offer more impressive results. Research has confirmed that using the ideal ethanol blend for a given vehicle dramatically reduces emissions.
  • Increased usage of alternative blends ultimately decreases the demand for foreign oil.
    Reducing America’s dependence on foreign oil offers America the opportunity to boost our own economy and the growth and development of the ethanol industry on our own soil. Asserting our energy independence and taking control of our fuel supply will strengthen our national and economic security.

Return to top


Does it take more energy to produce a gallon of ethanol than the energy we get out of it?

No. This has been a common misconception of the ethanol industry, that it takes more energy to make ethanol than is available to the final consumer. Remember, ethanol is produced from plant matter, today dominated by corn, wheat, potatoes, sorgum, etc. Plants grow through the use of energy provided by the sun and are a renewable resources. In the future, ethanol will be produced from waste products or "energy crops." Current ethanol producers like POET are close to commercializing production of ethanol using products such as corn stover.

Current research prepared by Argonne National Laboratory (a U.S. Department of Energy Laboratory), indicates a 38 percent gain in the overall energy input/output equation for the corn-to-ethanol process. That is, if 100 BTUs of energy is used to plant corn, harvest the crop, transport it, etc., 138 BTUs of energy is available in the fuel ethanol. Corn yields and processing technologies have improved significantly over the past 20 years and they continue to do so, making ethanol production less and less energy intensive.

Return to top


Why would consumers be interested in a blender (flex fuel) pump?

A flex fuel pump gives an FFV owner a great deal of flexibility and options. Just because you drive an FFV does not mean you have to fill up with E85 all the time. A flex fuel pump gives FFV owners the opportunity to fill up with various ethanol blends based on pricing and their vehicle’s performance.

Since the flex fuel pump includes E10 or E15 as a standard choice for consumers, you are also providing a fuel that virtually every consumer can use. Additionally, when you have a flex fuel pump at your station, you are showing consumers that you have their best interests in mind.

For the retailer, this technology also allows the cost of the dispenser to be spread across all blends and all customers.

Incentives to Sell Mid-Level Blends of Ethanol
After the hike in oil prices during the summer of 2008, consumers are looking for more choices at the pump. In October 2008, Growth Energy funded an Attitudes, Awareness and Usage (AA & U) survey and discovered the following:

  • 45 percent of Americans are seeking out alternatives, especially ethanol-blended fuels
  • 26 percent of those surveyed purchase ethanol because it helps the environment
  • 19 percent purchased ethanol due to the cost savings
  • After reading more about ethanol’s benefits, an additional 27 percent would purchase ethanol
     

Return to top


How many flex fuel vehicles (FFVs) are on the road?

There are more than 18.5 million FFVs on America’s highways today. There are more than 2,800 E85 fueling stations across the nation and more than 460 stations with a flex fuel pump installed — and more are being added every week.

Return to top


Is flex fuel pump installation complicated?

The technology that allows a flex fuel pump to work resides in the pump mechanism itself, so you simply need to connect the pump to two underground storage tanks. You’ll need to clean the tanks as necessary in order to accommodate the two fuels for the blender pump. If you already have E10 or ordinary gasoline in one tank, most likely you can fill the other with E85 or denatured ethanol and be ready to install your flex fuel pump.

Return to top