Ethanol is a clean-burning, high-octane fuel that is produced from renewable sources. At its most basic, ethanol is grain alcohol, produced from crops such as corn. Because it is domestically produced, ethanol helps reduce America's dependence upon foreign sources of energy.
Pure, 100% ethanol is not generally used as a motor fuel; instead, a percentage of ethanol is combined with unleaded gasoline.
The start of energy independence began in the early 1900s, inventor Rudolph Diesel built an engine that ran on vegetable oil. But crude oil was cheap, and diesel engines are fueled entirely from petroleum. The pendulum is swinging back. Rising petroleum prices and tightening supplies have sparked a flurry of interest in "biofuels"--fuel derived from biological sources. The most promising are biodiesel, extracted from plant oils and burned in diesel engines, and ethanol, fermented from corn and other biological materials, and burned in gasoline engines.