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4-H Youth Development

2009: Biofuel Blast

Renewable energy sources like biofuels are constantly making headlines in the news today. This experiment explores the production of the biofuel ethanol. It is typically made in the US by converting the starches from corn kernels into the sugars in corn syrup, and then adding yeast to break down the sugars, which releases carbon dioxide and ethanol as byproducts. The ethanol is blended with gasoline and then sold at some gas stations. There you might see a sign at the pump that says “E10,” which means 10 percent ethanol and 90 percent gasoline.