Interstate 65 Called America's First Biofuels Corridor

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 length of the interstate, from Gary, Ind., to Mobile, Ala. A driver is now no more than a quarter-tank's drive from a fuel retailer carrying E85, according to an Oct. 6 press release.

This $1.3-million federal project involved Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Alabama, the four states through which I-65 travels. To mark the completion of the project, project officials and partners conducted a Fall Corridor Drive, Oct. 7-9. 

"Indiana has been a leader in biofuels accessibility along the I-65 corridor and across the state," said Gov. Mitch Daniels. "This initiative is making it even easier for those who travel in Indiana and other states in the heartland to make fueling decisions that have a positive impact on our energy independence."

In 2005, there were no E85 or B20 fueling stations along I-65. With the completion of this project, there are 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 lists continue to expand.

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 U.S. Department of Energy, the Indiana Office of Energy & Defense Development, the State of Tennessee BIOTENN Partnership, the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs , the Central Indiana Clean Cities Alliance, Inc., South Shore Clean Cities, Inc., the Indiana Soybean Alliance, Indiana Corn Growers Association, America Lung Association of Indiana, the Kentucky Clean Fuels Coalition, the Alabama Clean Fuels Coalition, General Motors, and the Ethanol Promotion and Information Council.

E85 (up to 85 percent ethanol, 15 percent gasoline) can be used in any vehicle designed to use "FlexFuels." A guide to determine whether a vehicle is FlexFuel-ready may be found at B20 (20 percent biodiesel, 80 percent petroleum-based diesel) may be used in any diesel engine. Ethanol is a distilled, alcohol-based fuel derived from crops such corn. Biodiesel is produced from soybeans and other plants that produce oil.

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