WASHINGTON, D.C. --- The U.S. Energy Department announced it will provide up to $5.5 million in funding to a variety of projects aimed at bolstering the use of ethanol blends up to E85.

The money will come from American Reinvestment and Recovery Act funds.

The department said it expects to issue 15 to 30 grants, ranging from $50,000 to $200,000, for projects focused on infrastructure expansion. Qualifying projects will include upgrades to dispensers and upgrades to ethanol storage tanks.

Moreover, $2 million will be awarded to up to five applicants in grants ranging from $250,000 to $1 million for projects designed to increase public awareness of ethanol's benefits.