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|Date||Open||Close||Daily High||Daily Low|
|Natural Gas (Henry Hub)||9.26||0.24||USD per MMBtu||8/25/22 12:33 AM|
|Ethanol||2.16||0.05||USD per Gallon||8/24/22 11:49 AM|
|Heating Oil||106.46||-0.25||USD per 100 Liter||8/24/22 11:20 PM|
|Coal||382.00||1.60||USD per Ton||8/22/22 09:08 AM|
|RBOB Gasoline||2.85||0.97||USD per Gallone||8/25/22 12:03 AM|
|Uranium||26.50||-||USD per 250 Pfund U308||7/7/22 05:32 AM|
|Oil (Brent)||101.69||-0.04||USD per Barrel||8/25/22 12:43 AM|
|Oil (WTI)||95.27||-0.09||USD per Barrel||8/25/22 12:45 AM|
Ethanol is a clear alcohol that is extracted from sugar or grains. It is often blended with gasoline or diesel. Alone, it is expensive to produce and it does not provide as much power as gasoline. The price of ethanol is affected by the cost of crude oil and gasoline as well as production costs, legal regulations and transportation logistics.
Dating back to 1826, ethanol was used to power an engine and as lighting fuel. Its popularity waned during the Civil War due to taxation laws that were placed on liquor. When Prohibition ended in 1933, ethanol started to regain popularity but it wasn’t until the 1970s that it gained a strong following on the world stage. In 2005, the US Congress passed the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) which set a minimum amount of renewable fuel that had to be used by fuel producers. The Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) set a new target of 36 billion gallons of renewable fuel used by 2022.
Corn, sorghum, barley, sugarcane, rice, and tree bark are all potential sources of ethanol although corn is often the crop of choice in the United States. The initial source must go through the process of fermentation which is the chemical process of breaking down a substance into sugars. The resulting mash, pulverized corn mixed with water and enzymes, is then cooked and cooled. Glucoamylase is added to the mixture to aid the sugar breakdown. Yeast is added to speed up the fermentation process before it is heated again several days later. Ethanol is released in the form of vapor while the settlements, corn and yeast, remain in a solid form. The vapor is collected and run through a dehydration process that removes water from the vapor to produce anhydrous ethanol.