Ethanol gains foothold in Mississippi

With the price of oil and gas soaring, ethanol-blended fuel is becoming more popular here in the Magnolia State.

At least 43 fuel distributors across Mississippi hold permits to mix ethanol and pure gasoline.

Stations selling fuel containing 10 percent or less of ethanol began popping up after the state legislature rewrote definitions of allowable gas mixtures in the state.

Only modified engines are capable of using pure ethanol, but ethanol mixed with gasoline is becoming more popular across the country. The technology has been available since the 1860s.

Domestic production has more than doubled since 2001 with over 4.5 billion gallons produced per year.

There has been considerable debate as to the usefulness of corn-based bio-ethanol as a replacement for fossil fuels.