An Educational Resource
Ethanol can be made from any sugar, starch, or cellulosic material through a fermentation process. In the United States, ethanol is most often made from grains such as corn, wheat, and barley because they are in good supply. In more tropical areas, such as Brazil, ethanol is made from sugar cane. Scientists have also been working to improve ethanol production from non-food crops and materials such as switchgrass, woody biomass, and algae.
When corn is used to make ethanol, one bushel will provide 2.8 gallons of ethanol and 16.5 pounds of distiller's grains, a high-protein livestock feed.