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Corn Ethanol

Corn is the largest agricultural crop in the United States. Farmers grow it to feed livestock and for human consumption. Increasingly, farmers are also growing corn to supply the U.S. ethanol industry with raw biomass.

Fuel for Thought

Some experts are concerned that farmers will not be able to grow enough corn to satisfy our need for both food and fuel.

Ethanol factories add enzymes to giant tanks of corn. The enzymes help convert corn sugars into alcohol in a process called fermentation. The finished product, ethanol, is added to gasoline to make gasohol. Gasohol is a blend of 90 percent gasoline and 10 percent ethanol. Also known as E10, gasohol is available at gas stations around the U.S. Most car engines burn gasohol as easily as they burn gasoline.


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Science Encyclopedia for KidsBiofuels