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Ethanol and Its Future in Retail to be Examined at Ag EXPO
Minnesota Ag Connection - 01/09/2018

The past year has been encouraging for ethanol, as important milestones were met and progress was made in spreading awareness of the new unleaded 88 octane (E15) fuel option at the pump.

Ron Lamberty, senior vice president for the American Coalition of Ethanol, will be giving a presentation at MN Ag EXPO 2018, held Jan. 24-25 in Mankato, examining the future of ethanol from a retail perspective, including its growing benefit to retailers and consumers.

A first-time presenter at EXPO, Lamberty will be providing insight on the changing landscape that allows retailers to offer ethanol-blended fuels at lower prices. First introduced to ensure the Renewable Fuel Standard is upheld, Renewable Identification Number (RIN) credits are obtained and sold by retailers offering blended fuels, which in turn can be offered at a lower price than conventional unleaded. Lamberty will be discussing how this system has evolved to what it is today and what we can expect in the future.

Lamberty will also provide an overview on how retailers are currently marketing fuels with higher ethanol blends. A new fuel option at the pump that is sold at a lower price is rare, according to Lamberty, which presents unique marketing challenges for retailers.

"Usually new fuels come to the pump and are referred to as 'premium' and cost more, but now for the first time ever you have a new option that you are asking people to pay less for," he said.

One important benefit of 15-percent ethanol-blended fuel is a higher octane number (88 octane). Retailers are able to sell mid-grade octane to the consumer at a 5-10 cent savings to conventional unleaded (E10) pricing. Lamberty looks forward to diving into the importance of octane during his presentation, and how the performance-minded measurement is important to the growth of ethanol at the pump.

Lamberty will be presenting on the first day of EXPO (Jan. 24), which will be held at the Verizon Wireless Center in Mankato. Free to attend for farmers, register today and learn more at mnagexpo.com.

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