Back to Glossary of Terms

Definition for

Ethanol

C2H5OH; the alcohol product of carbohydrate fermentation used in alcoholic beverages and for industrial purposes (also known as ethyl alcohol or grain alcohol). It is blended with gasoline to make gasohol. When blended with gasoline, ethanol can reduce emissions of carbon monoxide and other ozone-forming pollutants. Ethanol can be produced from many feedstocks, including plants, agricultural residues, and municipal waste. Corn is the primary feedstock for U.S. ethanol production. In the 2005/06 corn marketing year, about 1,500 million bushels (13.8% of the corn crop and 13.9% of domestic corn use) is expected to go into the production of about 4 billion gallons of ethanol (October 2005 estimates). One 56-pound bushel of corn yields about 2.7 gallons of ethanol; conversely, 1 gallon of ethanol requires about 0.4 bushels of corn. Brazil uses sugarcane to manufacture what is called sucrose ethanol.

Not what you're looking for?

Check out other glossary terms or Send us a Message and we're happy to answer your questions!