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Oregon's First Ethanol Plant Opens

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BiodieselAs reported by the Oregonian on Tuesday, October 9th, Pacific Ethanol opened the first ethanol production facility in Oregon last week. Ethanol is a biofuel additive to gasoline.

The Columbia plant, located in Boardman, is capable of producing up to 40 million gallons of ethanol each year. The plant went on line just in time for Portland's deadline for all gasoline dispensed by fuel vendors (including gas stations) to contain 10% ethanol by November 1st.

The use of ethanol will have no adverse effect on car engines, and will reduce dependence on imported oil, as well as reduce greenhouse gas emmissions.

Ethanol is derived from plants like corn, that are high in sugars. There is concern that increased demand will reduce availability of crops for animal feed and human food. This may be a legitimate concern, but scientists are already exploring alternative sources of sugars to produce ethanol.

To be sure that your gasoline contains ethanol, look for "E10 Ethanol Blend" labels at the pump.

For the full Oregonian article, visit:

Ross Turkus,

Bureau of Development Services

1 Comment


Dean Billing

November 15, 2007 at 3:18 PM

Your statement "The use of ethanol will have no adverse effect on car engines, ..." is utterly false and completely naive. It may have little effect on most car engines built in the last few years, with computers that can cope with the change in fuel burn, other than lower power and worse gas mileage because ethanol has less BTUs than the corresponding gasoline it replaces. If the fuel system, that is the tanks and fuel lines and fittings were designed to take the deleterious effects of ethanol, then the driver probably won't notice the change. It will have an unknown effect on all engines and fuel systems built prior to the last few years and will have a definite negative effect on engines and fuel systems of older cars. In addition there are many other engine driven vehicles out there that require unadulterated unleaded gasoline and now those users have no fuel alternative in Oregon. Most states that have enacted mandatory ethanol programs have exempted the premium fuel from the program so that all users have some alternative, such states as Washington, Idaho, Montana and others.

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