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Where Indiana’s soybean and corn harvest ends after the fall harvest



Indianapolis, Indiana – Have you ever wondered what happens to the harvested maize and soybeans that fill Indiana’s fields?

It’s likely that you will be reloading your car with the crops you see on the road.

A large portion of Indiana’s maize and soybean crops, according to the Department of Agriculture, are processed into ethanol and biodiesel. According to the IDSA, corn and soybeans are also used to make common household commodities like carpets.

Historically, Indiana has harvested over 324 million bushels of soybeans annually. In 2018, Hoosier farmers planted more than 5.9 million acres of soybeans, according to the ISDA.

In Indiana, biodiesel is produced from soybeans, fats, and greases, according to the Indiana Office of Energy Development. According to the ISDA, Indiana generates 1.2 billion gallons of biodiesel annually from its five facilities in the state.

According to the ISDA, biodiesel is a sustainable fuel that burns cleaner and is compatible with the majority of diesel engines. The protein-rich component of the soybean plant is left for cattle to consume, and only the oil portion is used to generate biodiesel.

The ISDA has also stated that because biodiesel is non-toxic and biodegradable, it can cut greenhouse gas emissions by up to 86%. According to the National Biodiesel Board, 5.5 units of renewable energy are produced for each unit of fossil energy used to generate biodiesel.

According to the ISDA website, using biodiesel improves the air quality in Indiana by lowering the levels of hazardous hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, and black smoke that are created by diesel vehicles. The group asserts that biodiesel functions comparably to ordinary diesel fuel in the United States.

According to the ISDA, a blend of 80% conventional diesel and 20% biodiesel can produce power, torque, and fuel economy comparable to a full tank of regular diesel. Additionally, biodiesel improves engine lubricity more than conventional petroleum fuel. According to Stanadyne Automotive Corp., lubricity is increased by 66% with a 2% biodiesel blend.

Corn is widely utilized in the manufacturing of ethanol, an alcohol usually made from corn starches and sugars, while soybeans aid in the production of biodiesel. The IOED states that ethanol and gasoline are frequently combined to give drivers at the pump options such as E10, E15, and E85.

Indiana produced 1.03 billion bushels of maize in 2021, according to the US Department of Agriculture. According to the ISDA, the Hoosier State’s 14 ethanol facilities used a large portion of that corn as fuel.

The IOED estimates that Indiana is capable of producing up to 1.2 billion gallons of ethanol annually, or roughly 7% of the total produced in the country. As a result, more than 200 gas stations in the Hoosier State provide customers with flex fuels.

Ethanol has been shown by the ISDA to burn up to 57% less greenhouse gas than regular gas while also burning cleaner and cooler. According to ISDA experts, 8 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions could be avoided if every consumer converted to E15 fuel. In order to eliminate that much greenhouse gas from the atmosphere without the usage of flex fuels, 1.35 million cars would need to be removed from American roads.

Additionally, ethanol helps the United States become less reliant on other nations for energy and fuel. The ISDA claims that ethanol increases American energy independence by replacing some imported foreign oil. The United States has historically imported up to 7 billion gallons of foreign oil each day, according to the ISDA.

The great racing heritage of the Hoosier State is also influenced by ethanol. A combination of E15 is used in every NASCAR stock vehicle. Similarly, the ISDA claims that E85 is used in Indianapolis vehicles.

According to IOED data, Indiana presently holds the fifth and sixth positions in the country for producing biodiesel and ethanol, respectively.



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