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Syngenta announced a donation of $340,000 to the Prime the Pump Fund to help make higher ethanol blends more widely available and help grow demand for American ethanol. Prime the Pump is an ethanol industry initiative created to help the early retail adopters of high-level ethanol blends by awarding grants to reduce their initial investment in infrastructure.
"For our industry to enjoy sustainable success, there needs to be an increase in ethanol demand," said Ray Defenbaugh, chairman, Prime the Pump Fund. "As the ethanol blend wall has dramatically slowed demand, many steps have been taken to increase ethanol¹s availability in the U.S. market. Most notable was when the EPA allowed the use of gasoline blends containing as much as 15 percent ethanol in vehicle models from 2001 and newer. But the approval of E15 was just the first step.
"That¹s why the Prime the Pump Fund was formed. The Syngenta donation supports our strategy of aiding high-volume, progressive-minded, industry-leading fuel retailers, who will demonstrate the performance, cost savings and profit opportunity of marketing higher ethanol blends, such as E15," Defenbaugh added.
Ethanol has an octane rating of 113, making higher-level ethanol blends ideal for fueling high performance vehicles. As automakers move to smaller, higher compression, direct injection engines in order to meet the more stringent greenhouse gas and Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards, they need higher octane fuels to operate efficiently.
According to Growth Energy, the vehicles that E15 is approved for account for more than 87 percent of all vehicles on the road. And, nearly 20 million vehicles are approved for any blend of ethanol up to 85 percent ethanol.
"Earth-friendly American ethanol has become an important success story," said Kelly Manning, vice president for development at Growth Energy. "Clearly, we have the vehicles capable of using blends higher than E10, but consumers need greater access to stations capable of providing it. Efforts like Prime the Pump will help make that access a reality. The widespread availability of flex-fuel vehicles as well as those eligible to use E15 demonstrates that there is a market ready for a less expensive, higher octane, more environmentally friendly alternative fuel."
The Syngenta donation is part of an ongoing commitment to support the ethanol industry that, in addition to helping fund retail partnerships, includes new technologies to enhance ethanol production. Through Enogen corn enzyme technology and Cellerate process technology, Syngenta is dedicated to helping make corn growers and ethanol producers more successful.
"Ethanol is helping America reduce its dependence on foreign oil, lowering prices at the pump, improving the environment with lower emissions, and growing the economy with jobs that can't be outsourced," said Ron Wulfkuhle, head of Enogen at Syngenta. "We are proud to partner with corn growers and the ethanol industry to help provide consumers with the choice to purchase a superior, higher octane fuel and pay less."