Environmental Impact


Using ethanol means that we use less gasoline. Unlike gasoline, ethanol is nontoxic and quickly breaks down into harmless substances if spilled.

Auto manufacturers approve the use of ethanol up to 10 percent in any gasoline vehicle (E10). Blending ethanol increases the oxygen content of the fuel, reducing carbon monoxide and other toxic pollution from the tailpipes of vehicles, making the air cleaner.

Because of its more complete combustion, it keeps engines running smoothly without the need for lead or other chemical additives. Thousands of FlexFuel vehicles currently being manufactured can run on up to 85% ethanol blend (E85), reducing toxic pollution even further.

Because ethanol is made from crops that absorb carbon dioxide and give off oxygen, it reduces greenhouse gas emissions. This carbon cycle maintains the balance of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere when using ethanol as a fuel.


Studies have shown that ethanol:

  • Reduces tailpipe carbon monoxide emissions by as much as 30 percent
  • Reduces exhaust volatile organic compounds (VOC) emissions by 12 percent
  • Reduces toxic emissions by 30 percent
  • Reduces particulate matter (PM) emissions by more than 25 percent