DES MOINES — New diesel pumps featuring E-30 biofuel blends are expected to show up at fuel stations across Iowa in the spring.
The E-30 blend “is kind of the sweet spot” for bio-diesel, Gov. Terry Branstad said Monday when he announced the “fueling our future” initiative to market and extend the use of E-30 fuel blends.
The state will use $250,000 in federal money to add the blend to the Iowa Renewable Fuels Infrastructure program through the Iowa Department of Agriculture.
That program reimburses fuel station owners for up to 50 percent of the cost of modifying or expanding their equipment to sell certain biofuels for three years. Owners can receive up to a 70 percent reimbursement for costs if they commit to store and sell certain biofuels for five years.
In addition to the federal money, Branstad said the program will receive additional support from Iowa State University, the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association and the departments of Agriculture and Land Stewardship and Transportation.
“This pilot program will provide Iowans with additional access to higher blends of ethanol and biodiesel, which will help our farmers, communities and economy in producing, processing and profiting locally,” Branstad said.
Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey, who joined Branstad at the news conference, said Iowa produces roughly 25 percent of all the ethanol gasoline in the country.
He added that once the starch is removed from corn to make the ethanol, the resulting grain can be used as livestock feed.
The fuel blend can be used in flex-fuel vehicles, which comprise about 10 percent of the motor vehicles on the road. That number also includes nearly all state vehicles.
“The cost difference for the auto manufacturers is not that much,” Branstad said. “In fact, every vehicle sold in Brazil has to be flex fuel. If the manufacturers can do it there, it’s something they can do here, too.”