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Biofuel in the United States
Additional recommended knowledge
The United States produces mainly biodiesel (the largest user is the U.S. Army) and ethanol fuel, which is mainly made from corn (food bioethanol). As of 2005, the United States is the largest producer of ethanol with 16 billion liters/year while Brazil produced nearly the same amount (15.5 billion liters). Cellulosic biofuels are under development, to avoid upward pressure on food prices and land use changes that would be expected to result from a major increase in use of food biofuels.
Biofuels are mainly used mixed with fossil fuels. They are also used as additives. Most cars on the road today in the U.S. can run on blends of up to 10% ethanol, and motor vehicle manufacturers already produce vehicles designed to run on much higher ethanol blends. Ford, DaimlerChrysler, and GM are among the automobile companies that sell “flexible-fuel” cars, trucks, and minivans that can use gasoline and ethanol blends ranging from pure gasoline up to 85% ethanol (E85). By mid-2006, there were approximately six million E85-compatible vehicles on U.S. roads.
The challenge is to expand the market for biofuels beyond the farm states where they have been most popular to date. Flex-fuel vehicles are assisting in this transition because they allow drivers to choose different fuels based on price and availability. The Energy Policy Act of 2005, which calls for 7.5 billion gallons of biofuels to be used annually by 2012, will also help to expand the market.
It should also be noted that the growing ethanol and biodiesel industries are providing jobs in plant construction, operations, and maintenance, mostly in rural communities. According to the Renewable Fuels Association, the ethanol industry created almost 154,000 U.S. jobs in 2005 alone, boosting household income by $5.7 billion. It also contributed about $3.5 billion in tax revenues at the local, state, and federal levels.
The Department of Energy established the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in 1974 and started to work in 1977. The NREL publish papers on biofuels. Congress also voted the Energy Policy Act in 1994 and a newer in 2005 to promote renewable fuels.
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Biofuel_in_the_United_States". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|