Improving Infrastructure: Push to make higher blends of ethanol for Minnesota consumers

Biofuel supporters are pushing for greater availability of renewable fuels, like E15, and Minnesota farm leaders are working to make it happen.

Grants totaling more than $6 million are being awarded by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture to 44 Minnesota service stations to improve their infrastructure to make higher blends of ethanol available to consumers. The funds came from the Minnesota legislature and Minnesota Corn.

“What I’m really excited about is that we’re just providing options for Minnesotans to get a higher octane at a lower price that helps the environment. Its really that simple, and Minnesota already leads the nation in E85 and E15 pumps. This is really going to help expand that out around the state,” said Minnesota Ag Commissioner, Thom Peterson.

One of the grant recipients is the Super Gas USA station in Burnsville. The funds will help the business add new tanks and pumps to give their customers options at the pump.

Super Gas USA Manager, Mahmoud Hannoon, said, “After we’re done with those two phases we’ll be able to sell E15 and we anticipate that in 2023, 10 percent of our customers will switch from the regular to E15 and another 5 percent will switch in 2024.”

Minnesota’s corn farmers have invested in the growth of the state’s biofuels industry, investing $30 million since 2008. Minnesota has over 400 service stations that provide blends like E15 and E85...that’s about 20% of all the service stations in the state. The additional stations bump that number up to about 30%. Stations pumped a record 87 million gallons of E15 or Unleaded 88 in 2021. The additional infrastructure will likely help keep that number growing.

“Part of the Corn Grower’s mission is to improve the quality of life, not only for Minnesota Corn Growers, but for all Minnesotans. When you look at the benefits of blending ethanol into gasoline, we get cleaner air, less greenhouse gas emissions, and lower costs to the consumers,” said Gary Prescher, Minnesota Corn Research & Promotion Council.