Did you know that agricultural residue like wheat straw is a feedstock of choice for many companies working on commercializing cellulosic ethanol?

In most places, this residue will have to be supplemented by additional biomass material from dedicated energy crops. Many agricultural producers who will grow dedicated energy crops in the near future grow wheat now or have acres in the Conservation Reserve Program that previously produced wheat.

NAWG’s leaders feel it is our organization’s responsibility to ensure both wheat growers and biomass growers are accurately and adequately represented in policy discussions.

Renewable Fuels Standard

NAWG supports an expanded Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS). The RFS, signed into law in late 2007, calls for refiners to blend 36 billion gallons of renewable fuels into the U.S. transportation fuel supply by 2022, with 21 billion gallons from cellulosic feedstock sources.

NAWG believes these requirements, if properly implemented, provide the stability needed for robust investment in and growth of the biomass and cellulosic ethanol industries.

usdaBiomass Research

NAWG supports USDA/Agricultural Research Service bioenergy research priorities including:

  • Development of annual and perennial dedicated biomass crops adapted to a variety of growing regions
  • Determination of the best management practices for the establishment, maintenance, harvesting and transportation of biomass energy crops
  • Determination of the potential impact of proposed biorefineries on water quality and water quantity
  • Research into alternative processing technologies that would allow the farmer to convert his or her biomass crop into energy at the farm level

Commonly Asked Questions About Ethanol

Ethanol is produced from corn, barley, wheat, and cellulose feedstocks, such as corn stalks, rice straw, pulpwood, switchgrass, and municipal solid waste. It then becomes an additive to standard gasoline.

The Clean Air Act requires octane to be added to fuels to lower emissions and improve air quality. To date, ethanol is the most effective octane available, plus, it is a low-cost, renewable, home-grown fuel.

The more ethanol, the greater benefits to you and the community. Ethanol is blended with gasoline and sold as:

  • E10: 10% ethanol and 90% gasoline, E10 is warranted for use in any vehicle built after 1980, boat engines, and small equipment engines.
  • E15: new on the market, E15 increases ethanol up to 15% for autos 2001 and newer
  • E85: a mix of 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline, is designed for flexible fuel vehicles only.

A FFV operates on any blend from E10 up to E85. There are more than 20 million FFVs on the road-you may already be driving one!