Illinois might be the land of Lincoln, but in recent years it could also pass for the land of ethanol, as the state produced almost half of the entire country's ethanol supply.
It all bodes well for local farmers and the global environment.
Here's how it works; in ethanol plants across Illinois a bushel of corn is transferred into two and a half gallons of ethanol. The ethanol is then blended into gasoline at either 10 percent, or at 85 percent, also called E-85 ethanol.
The good news is last year ethanol boosted corn crops 10 cents more a bushel. It also gives local farmers a chance to produce their own energy on their own farms.
"The potential is growing. There are a lot more ethanol plants being built in the area and in the Midwest and even across the world because with high oil prices ethanol is very competitive," ethanol expert Ken Greene said.
Currently, every vehicle that is made in the U.S. today is able to run on ethanol. Thursday’s awareness event comes at the same week that a new ethanol plant opened in Rochelle.