Ethanol

Background
Ethanol is a renewable fuel primarily made from agricultural plants containing sugar. Corn is a common feedstock used to produce ethanol in United States; in New Mexico, sorghum is also used as a feedstock. Ethanol can also be made from cellulosic feedstocks, such as crop residues and wood, though cellulosic ethanol production is still a developing technology and the fuel is not yet available commercially.

Ethanol TrucksAlmost all gasoline in the U.S. contains a blend of some ethanol, typically E10 (90% gasoline, 10% ethanol). This low-level blend of ethanol is used to oxygenate the gasoline and to reduce air pollutants. Ethanol is also available in high-level blends, such as E85 (51%-83% ethanol, depending on season and geography). E85 is used in flexible fuel vehicles, which can run on ethanol, conventional gasoline, or any combination of the two. E15 (10–15% ethanol with gasoline) is approved for use in gasoline vehicles model year 2001 and newer.

Per gallon, ethanol contains about 30% less energy than gasoline. E85, because of its gasoline content, contains about 25% less energy than gasoline.

Benefits of Using Ethanol
Like other alternative fuels, ethanol helps promote U.S. energy security by reducing oil imports. In 2013, the United States imported 33% of its domestic crude oil supply; the Renewable Fuels Association calculates that without domestic ethanol production and use, these imports would have been 41% of petroleum supply.

Ethanol use in place of conventional gasoline also lowers greenhouse gas emissions, as the carbon dioxide released when ethanol is burned is balanced by the carbon dioxide captured when crops are grown to make ethanol.

Ethanol Use in Vehicles
Low-level blends of E10 or less require no special fueling equipment, and they can be used in any conventional gasoline vehicle. E15 is approved for use in vehicles that are model year 2001 and newer. E85 use requires a flexible fuel vehicle (FFV), which can run on any combination of ethanol and gasoline.

FFVs are available nationwide with no incremental cost, making them an affordable alternative fuel vehicle option. There currently more than 17 million FFVs operating in the United States, though many may not actually be fueled with E85. See the U.S. Department of Energy’s Alternative Fuel and Advanced Vehicle Search to view current FFV options.

Ethanol Production and Fueling Stations in New Mexico
New Mexico currently has one ethanol production plant in Portales. The plant was designed to produce up to 30 million gallons of ethanol per year. The U.S. leads the world in ethanol production, and production increased from 6.5 billion gallons in 2007 to 14.3 billion gallons in 2014.

There are 8 public fueling stations with E85 in New Mexico.

 New Mexico E85 Fueling Stations

Station Name

Street Address

City

Corner Store #1251

10801 Unser Blvd NW

Albuquerque

Corner Store #1252

555 Rio Bravo Blvd SE

Albuquerque

Comanche Fuel Stop

600 Comanche Rd NE

Albuquerque

Corner Store #1217

385 W Highway 550

Bernalillo

Corner Store #1289

1401 E Lohman Ave

Las Cruces

Amigo Mart

1229 Cerrillos Rd

Santa Fe

Nambe Falls Travel Center

17730 US 84/ 285

Santa Fe

Smith’s

224 Paseo Del Pueblo Sur

Taos


Additional Information

Alternative Fuels Data Center (U.S. DOE) – Ethanol
Renewable Fuels Association

 
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