About the I-75 Green Corridor Project

PAGE MENU:  What & Where  The Project Particulars - Then and Now  Project History  Why Do this Project?

What & Where

Establish I-75 as the nation's longest biofuels corridor, enabling travel along the entire 1,786 mile-length using either of the 2 primary biofuels, E85 or B20. Add 25-30 public E85 or B20 pumps along I-75 first filling in the gaps where no such stations exist, working to place each biofuel no greater than 200 miles from the next or last biofuel pump of that same type. Place these new pumps within a maximum distance of 3 miles from an I-75 exit. Furthermore, build this refueling infrastructure in cities along that corridor to further enhance the growth of these fuels in America's cities. (See the below article to see the number of each type of pumps that are being added in each state. Those selections were based on a review of where each type of pumps was already available along I-75.)

The Project Particulars - Then and Now

ProposalActual, To Date
(As of 9/30/13)
Total number of stations added through the project2227
      → E85 stations1020
      → B20 stations159
Total number of biofuel sales sites
      (Two stations are selling both fuels)
Total project cost share$1,018,180$1,386,470
Gallons of petroleum displaced/year1.78 million     2010 = 10,343
    2011 = 488,999
    2012 = 866,225
    2013 = 804,370 *
    2014 = ???

        * This only includes the first 9 months of 2013.

Project History

In 2008, the East Tennessee Clean Fuels Coalition (ETCleanFuels) had grown to know well many other U.S. DOE Clean Cities coalition leaders across the U.S., and was looking for opportunities for larger, multi-coalition projects to have a greater impact for America and for an American energy resurgence. The following year's non-ARRA, DOE Clean Cities funding ended up being a great opportunity to bring one of the coalition's ideas closer to market: establish the longest biofuels corridor that the U.S. has ever had.

Through the grant process, ETCleanFuels applied for two project ideas, both for creating new biofuels corridors across the country: north to south across the U.S. via I-75, and east to west via I-40. The coalition established partnerships across Clean Cities coalitions, fuel providers and other partners to build both of those corridors into proposals to DOE. In the end, I-75 was funded, and I-40 was not. (This is another project that could still be brought to life with the right partnerships.)

For the proposal, a total of 21 different organizations came together to be part of the project (see our Partners page to learn about all the partners). Each brought and is still bringing different abilities or plusses to the project to ensure the success of the collaborative effort. Over $800,000 in the award; total project cost of about $1.8 million. Multi-state, multi-organization-type partnership with other Clean Cities coalitions, station owners, fuel marketers and similarly aligned companies that can help us place the pumps largely at existing stations and ensure assistance in marketing the fuel locally. Provide a maximum of $30,000 in a 50/50 cost match to the station owner or agent to assist them with their costs in making the fuel available to the motoring public.

Why do this project?

To support American fuels and jobs, keep Americans' money in America, reduce oil dependence, support alternative fuels and renewable fuels continued production and use in the U.S., reduce emissions including greenhouse gases, and build partnerships that put America first.

Ethanol as E85 is an excellent fuel for today's flex fuel vehicles, or FFVs. It is made to run only in those vehicles, so don't put E85 in a non-FFV! E85 will typically be 70-80% ethanol and 20-30% gasoline; the mixture shifts from winter to summer to maximize the operation of FFVs. Ethanol is a cleaner-burning fuel and reduces many pollutants that are important in America, including the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide, or CO2. While ethanol does have less energy than gasoline on a per gallon basis, it has a higher octane rating which means more power! And with effectively prices E85, it can be the same dollars/mile for the user (it typically needs to be priced on the order or 20% less than gasoline). However, it gives a sense of American pride every time you fill up with a renewable, U.S.-produced fuel!

Biodiesel is usually sold in blends like B5 or B20, which means respectively that 5 or 20% of the blend is biodiesel while the remaining is petro diesel. Blends up to B20 can run in any diesel vehicle that is 2007 and older, and in many vehicles that are 2008-2013. Ford and GM specifically note that their 2011 and later trucks are ready to run on B20! (Ford even put the word "B20" on their side of the F-series trucks!!) Biodiesel is produced through a process called transesterification which yields roughly 20% glycerine and 80% biodiesel. Pure vegetable oil is NOT biodiesel, and any fuel made from a process other than transesterification is NOT biodiesel. Other renewable diesel fuels do exist--like renewable diesel and green diesel--but don't confuse them with biodiesel.