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The contents of this report reflect the views of the author(s), who is responsible for the facts and the accuracy of the data presented herein. The contents do not necessarily reflect the official views or policies of the Virginia Department of Transportation, the Commonwealth Transportation Board, or the Federal Highway Administration. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation. Any inclusion of manufacturer names, trade names, or trademarks is for identification purposes only and is not to be considered an endorsement.


The Nebraska Gasohol Experience
Michael A. Perfater
Year: 1979
VTRC No.: 79-R34
Abstract: The political, social, and economic impacts of Nebraska's program promoting the use of an ethanol-gasoline blend as a motor fuel were examined and the literature on research and other activities relating to the use of alcohol as a motor fuel, including records of the deliberations of the National Gasohol Commission, were reviewed. It was found that the objective of the 1972 Nebraska legislation on the use of Gasohol as a motor fuel was to promote the sale of grain while simultaneously helping reduce the United State's dependence on foreign oil. Since that time much research into all aspects of the use of Gasohol, which, is defined as a blend of 10% ethyl alcohol (ethanol) and 90% unleaded gasoline, has been conducted throughout the Midwest. While there appears to be little debate over whether Gasohol will work in a car's engine, there is a great deal of debate concerning the economics and energy balance involved in its production and use. Most of the information now available on both issues is theoretical. There is a widely held feeling that until a full-scale ethanol plant is operating and producing in excess of 20 million gallons per year, answers to the economic and energy balance questions will not be forthcoming. There is widespread agreement that incentives, perhaps in the form of tax reductions, are needed to make Gasohol competitive with unleaded gasoline. The major opponents of Gasohol are the oil companies. Most feel that the United States is several years away from an economic conversion of agricultural products into fuel and are thus concentrating on fuel recovery from fossil sources such as shale oil, liquefied coal, and tar sands.