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I-65 Biofuel Corridor from Indiana to Alabama Complete

The I-65 Biofuels Corridor, with some of the station locations marked on the map (the numbers refer to the timeline of events on the promotional drive.) Click to enlarge.

Interstate 65 is now “America’s First Biofuels Corridor” with the conclusion of a project to make E85 Ethanol and B20 Biodiesel available the entire 886-mile length of the Interstate, from Gary, Indiana to Mobile, Alabama. A driver is now no more than a quarter of a tank’s drive from a participating E85 retailer.

The $1.3 million federal project involved Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee and Alabama, the four states through which I-65 travels. The project funded 31 E85 and five B20 stations in the states and one biodiesel blending facility on the Indiana-Ohio border. Indiana has 19 E85 pumps; Kentucky has one E85 pump; Tennessee has two E85 pumps; Alabama has eight E85/B20 pumps.

To mark the completion of the project, project officials and partners conducted a Fall Corridor Drive, 7-9 October 2008. One group started from Mobile and drove north, the other started in Gary and drove south. The two groups meet in Clarksville, Indiana on 9 October.

In 2005, there were no E85 or B20 fueling stations along I-65. With the completion of this project, there will be 31 refueling stations easily accessible from the Interstate. Overall, Indiana now has 123 biofuels refueling locations, Tennessee has 50, Kentucky has 34 and Alabama has 13. Those numbers continue to grow.

The project, which was started in 2006, partially funded infrastructure improvements to allow the sale of E85, B20 or both at fuel retailers along the corridor. Partners in the project include: The US Department of Energy; the Indiana Office of Energy & Defense Development; State of Tennessee BIOTENN Partnership, Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA), Central Indiana Clean Cities Alliance, Inc. (CICCA); South Shore Clean Cities, Inc. (SSCC); Indiana Soybean Alliance (ISA); Indiana Corn Growers Association; America Lung Association of Indiana; Kentucky Clean Fuels Coalition (KCFC); Alabama Clean Fuels Coalition; General Motors; and the Ethanol Promotion and Information Council (EPIC).


Kit P

California, Oregon, and Washington State are planning a similar project on I-5 from Mexico to Canada. In California cars will be fuel with locally produced magic wands, Oregon, and Washington State will use locally produced biofuels.


Now why cant they do that for those of us that drive NGVs?

Kit P


That would be the I-11 from the Caspian to the Gulf of Oman.

NGV may make sense in places with a surplus of NG. Get back to me when we stop importing LNG and CNG.


The stretch of I-65 through Alabama is beautiful....the scenery is great and the highway is excellent shape.



America doesn't actually NEED to import NG, you have 5.5 trillion cu.ft. of it. Its only imported because in some local markets it's cheaper to bring it into the country than to bring it ACROSS the country.


I think NG blended with other mainly-methane gases will win out over ethanol for longer distance vehicles. Short trips will be done in EVs. The natgas network will support home or depot refuelling plus combined heat and power.

This is a bold prediction since on Australian weekend TV a racing car driver said 'E85 is the fuel of the future' and the local 60 Minutes is running a story on cane ethanol.


Although Kit worries about the US importing NG the fact is you're an exporter of NG, you export NG to Canada, Mexico and Japan. Canada is also an exporter of NG and most of our NG exports go to the US.

Why, you may ask, should you export to us if we're just going to turn around and send it back? In a word - 'infrastructure.' It's cheaper to build pipelines north/south across the border than east/west across the Rockies.

Kit P

What planet do you live on? Where do you live? It not that ai_vin is wrong except numbers are low. There is 21 TCF of restricted NG off the coast of California. There is 37 TCF of restricted NG off the east coast.

Is it cheaper to drill for our own gas or to compete with Spain and Japan on the world market? Ten years ago we were told that the ceiling on natural gas in the US was $4/MMBTU because of LNG import costs. How far off was that prediction?

The basic concern with energy security is cost of energy is controlled by other factors that Americans can not control. That is the basic problem we want cheap energy but we do not want to produce it domestically.

That is changing. Communities with nuke plants want new ones. Communities with new wind farms see the job and tax benefits revitalizing schools. Corn growers are able to buy new equipment. There are benefits of having productive jobs producing what people elsewhere want.

Kit P

“The United States imports about 16% of the natural gas we consume. Most of these imports are delivered by pipeline (from Canada). But a growing volume of natural gas is coming to the United States in liquid form from overseas. With the demand for natural gas expected to increase, it’s likely that U.S. imports of LNG also will need to increase.”


Kit, you're right. I did get the numbers low, I should have said cu metres instead of cu ft. I got this number from the CIA factbook - which says;
Natural gas - production: 490.8 billion cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - consumption: 604 billion cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - exports: 19.8 billion cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - imports: 117.9 billion cu m (2005)
Natural gas - proved reserves: 5.551 trillion cu m (1 January 2006 est.)


and BTW - Welcome to the Global Economy.


You may want to ask someone who heat their house in the Northeast US what the think of the global economy.

I see that we export NG to Japan, I just have not figured out how. Do you have a source?

“Recent growth in natural gas consumption in both countries has been strong, with outages at nuclear power plants in Japan compounding the increase. LNG imports into Japan for 2007 reportedly totaled 3.1 trillion cubic feet of natural gas (66.8 million tons of LNG), up by 7.6 percent from 2006. The current nuclear issues are expected to be resolved before 2010...”

“Since Alaskan natural gas is abundant and cheap, the State has attracted a petrochemicals industry that produces ammonia and urea fertilizer. In addition, the Kenai liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in the Cook Inlet exports LNG, primarily to Japan. Kenai is the only LNG export terminal in the United States.”

Uh...first, thanx to all that hijacked this thread...there is/was NO mention of NG.

As to a "biofuel corridor"...corn-based E85 continues to get the bashing it deserves. It is a "biofuel" in name only. The inputs of diesel, water, fertilizer and subsidies make its contribution dubious.

B20 biodiesel, while a truly laudable concept, usually remains an inferior product when the 80% petrodiesel part is of questionable quality (40 or less Cetane). Its well past time to get this number up to over 45 so newer diesel engines can run cleaner and impossibly strict emission specs can be met.


"You may want to ask someone who heat their house in the Northeast US what the think of the global economy."

Well now, here I was thinking that anybody that chooses to live anywhere in the USA (a country that routinely and loudly exalts the virtues of Free Market capitalism) would be all for it.
[tongue firmly in cheek] ;^)

John T

Why does everyone continue to ignore the horrible joke that the US farm lobby (42 senators from 21 farm states) continues to foist off on the rest of us with corn based ethanol?
We are paying the subsidies for this folks and nobody is demanding that either McCain or Obama take a stand against this crud. Of course, Obama is from Illinois so he'll never have the guts to stand up against it whether he wants to or not.

Ethanol is so low in energy content as to be a joke (only 60% of gas), it requires all new infrastructure to support it (both pipelines, etc as well as the "flex fuel" cars that use it), corn ethanol takes food off our plate and feed away from livestock, it uses HUGE amounts of water/fertilizer and it is an absolute joke that we have to subsidize it.

At least have the decency to produce butanol instead which has none of these drawbacks for cars & infrastructure. And whichever you produce....stop using food crops with economics that don't support it. It's not even good from a CO2 standpoint when it comes from corn.

Stick with biodiesel from non-foodcrops, as much as possible and wait for cellulosic to be ready and produce butanol instead.


Or stick with oil. It costs only $ 75 dollars a barrel anymore and is still falling...


"Or stick with oil. It costs only $ 75 dollars a barrel anymore and is still falling..."

Don't count on it staying that way. Oil prices ALWAYS go down during an election. Or you could blame the recession. Or both, but either way they will go back up (usually just after you've bought a new SUV). :-(

Kit P

“Oil prices ALWAYS go down during an election.”

Energy prices appear to have more to do with peak demand in the summer and winter or if there is a disruption in supply.

Since the US presidential election occurs in the fall, I would expect oil prices to be decreasing anyway. Association is not causation.


Why is this thread about NG? John T is right, E85 may have been an innocent program with good intentions at first, but once research proved that it takes a barrel of imported oil to make a barrel of E85, the program should have been cancelled. It has turned into a subsidy for the oil companies and it allows them to pander to would-be environmentalists. It subsidizes farm state politicians and it subsidizes big Ag. People should be screaming to outlaw it. Until ethanol from waste, switch grass, or corn stalks become available, E85 should be drawing loud protests from environmentalists. If we want to subsidize farmers to grow more food crops, I'm all for that.

Kit P

“…but once research proved that it takes a barrel of imported oil to make a barrel of E85…”

Of course that is not true.

“…loud protests from environmentalists.”

That is the thing about environmentalists, they make lots of noise but they do not actually study the environment looking for the root cause of problems and reading LCA to identify better ways of doing things.

Clearly corn ethanol is an economic and environmental improvement over imported oil. We are reaching a 10% mix that have demonstrated corn ethanol is a sustainable solution at a 10% blend. The barrier to finding out how large ethanol share can be while still being sustainable is limited by how much we can use.

Will the US find something better than corn ethanol? Wait and see.


"Of course that is not true."

I am no scientist, but I read. Here's a good peer-reviewed reference to check. I don't know what Rush Limbaugh says about E85, but Princeton and Woods Hole researchers say this:

Published Online February 7, 2008
Science DOI: 10.1126/science.1151861
Science Express Index

Submitted on October 17, 2007
Accepted on January 28, 2008

Use of U.S. Croplands for Biofuels Increases Greenhouse Gases Through Emissions from Land Use Change
Timothy Searchinger 1*, Ralph Heimlich 2, R. A. Houghton 3, Fengxia Dong 4, Amani Elobeid 4, Jacinto Fabiosa 4, Simla Tokgoz 4, Dermot Hayes 4, Tun-Hsiang Yu 4
1 Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, USA. German Marshall Fund of the U.S., Georgetown Environmental Law and Policy Institute.
2 Agricultural Conservation Economics, Laurel, MD, USA.
3 Woods Hole Research Center, Falmouth, MA, USA.
4 Center for Agricultural and Rural Development, Iowa State University, Ames, IA, USA.

* To whom correspondence should be addressed.
Timothy Searchinger , E-mail:

Most prior studies have found that substituting biofuels for gasoline will reduce greenhouse gases because biofuels sequester carbon through the growth of the feedstock. These analyses have failed to count the carbon emissions that occur as farmers worldwide respond to higher prices and convert forest and grassland to new cropland to replace the grain (or cropland) diverted to biofuels. Using a worldwide agricultural model to estimate emissions from land use change, we found that corn-based ethanol, instead of producing a 20% savings, nearly doubles greenhouse emissions over 30 years and increases greenhouse gases for 167 years. Biofuels from switchgrass, if grown on U.S. corn lands, increase emissions by 50%. This result raises concerns about large biofuel mandates and highlights the value of using waste products.


"Why is this thread about NG? John T is right, E85 may have been an innocent program with good intentions at first, but once research proved that it takes a barrel of imported oil to make a barrel of E85, the program should have been cancelled."

Well although the ERoEI sucks for corn ethanol it is much better with SNG[biomethane] so if we want to use biomass to make fuel we could start with NG while we build the gasification plants.

Kit P


If you are going to say something like “…but once research proved that it takes a barrel of imported oil to make a barrel of E85…” then maybe you should find a reference that talks about the number of barrels of imported oil used to make E85.

nrg nut

Like it or not E85 is here to stay. It won't be long since the demand for liquid fuels is already decreasing . Every corn ethanol plant is actively upgrading to cellulosic. New cellulosic technology is coming online. Check the progress of Mascoma, Range Fuels and Coskata to name a few of the pilot plants underway. And soon there will be pilot scale algal oil plants for biodiesel.

E85 energy content means next to nothing if you only consume small amounts of fuel. In serial hybrids all that's needed is to run < 1.4L genset. The recharge program is set to run only long enough to get you home or to a public charge station.

It seems like the biofuel bashers just need something to bash.

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