Biofuels have long been a focus for the Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA). Investing nearly $23 million since 2008, here are a few highlights of how MCGA has worked to advance and expand the use of ethanol.
Over the last three years MCGA has worked with the consulting firm DeFour Group to move mid-level blends, specifically E25, into the marketplace. The multi-faceted approach included engine testing through the National Corn Growers Association, modeling with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as well as working through regulatory and policy topics with the EPA and other national agencies.
MCGA also invests in co-products research like that done by Bo Hu, a professor in the Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering at the University of Minnesota. Hu and his team have worked to enhance the value of distillers grain, or DDGS, which is an ethanol co-product made from corn after fermentation. The enhanced version of DDGS contains more amino acids, making it a viable option for livestock feed while not interrupting the fermentation process.
AMERICAN LUNG ASSOCIATION SUPPORT AND EDUCATION:
The American Lung Association (ALA) has been a valuable partner in a multitude of ways for ethanol.
MCGA has worked with and supported ALA in helping share the air quality benefits of using cleaner burning ethanol fuels. As an example, ALA has worked with the U.S. Grains Council in talking about the health benefits associated with clean air in the international trade market.
In addition, ALA helps with market development by assisting fuel stations with infrastructure such as dispensers and tanks, educating station owners about the different blends of ethanol fuels, and also providing marketing materials. ALA also assists MCGA and county corn grower associations with ethanol promotion events around the state.
E85/FLEX PUMP INFRASTRUCTURE:
MCGA has provided grants for gas stations to implement ethanol dispensers and tanks for many years. In fact, Minnesota leads the country in number of stations and dispensers carrying ethanol blended fuels.
MCGA has worked with a broad coalition of partners through the years in relation to infrastructure. This includes the US Department of Agriculture, MN Department of Agriculture, MN Biofuels Association, ethanol plants and Prime the Pump, which is a nonprofit organization pooling industry resources to expand the use of E15 and higher ethanol blends.
MCGA works with the National Corn Growers Association to bring ethanol to the forefront through a partnership with NASCAR. In conjunction with American Ethanol, ethanol-blended fuel is in every NASCAR vehicle and even on the green flag that starts every NASCAR race. The partnership raises awareness of the environmentally friendly blend while emphasizing its higher octane performance.