Corn Based Ethanol

Ethanol in Illinois

Sterling Land Company assists in the sale of Illinois farmland. Much of the land in Illinois is used to grow corn that helps fuel our vehicles as ethanol. One of the major factors pushing the price of Illinois farmland higher is the widespread use of ethanol. Ethanol is alcohol derived from sugar or starch based plants. Here in Illinois, ethanol is made from corn and used to “power” our vehicles. Creating an additional use for crops grown here in Illinois raises the price, which in turn, pushes up the value of the land.Most of our gasoline has a small percentage of ethanol mixed in by federal mandate already. Currently, we are seeing more vehicles designed to run on E85. E85 is a mixture of 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline. While the dream of powering all cars with E85 might be a laudable one, there simply is not enough corn harvested currently to make this a reality.

Ethanol as Fuel

There are varying opinions surrounding ethanol and it’s efficiencies. Ethanol is not simple to extract and it is inherently less efficient than gasoline. Still the ability to control the source of pollution and the desire to reduce foreign oil dependence continues to make ethanol a popular choice.

Using ethanol as a fuel is not a new idea. In fact, the technology has been around since the late 1800s. In 1908 the Model T was sold as a “flexible fuel vehicle”, able to run on gasoline or ethanol. Obviously the technology didn’t take off then and only through the use of government incentives is it able to make economic sense for producers today.


While oil remains relatively cheap, ethanol is not a viable alternative. This may not always be the case, so the continued research and development in the ethanol field may pay huge dividends one day. As long as there is volatility in oil and the desire to prevent carbon based pollutions, people will seek alternative fuels. The government sees benefit in ethanol technology so subsidies have existed for over 30 years now. There is no indication that demand for ethanol will subside anytime soon.

Since a significant percentage of Illinois corn crop goes to the production of ethanol, Sterling Land Company has taken part in many land sales that directly involve this technology. If you would like to do your part in growing the fuel of tomorrow by becoming a land owner, contact us today.

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