Posting in Energy
E15, fuel blended with 5 percent more ethanol than the current standard, has come to market. Why its limited debut matters to the industry and drivers.
E15, a fuel blend that contains five percent more ethanol than the current U.S. standard, will finally be available to consumers. That is, if they happen to be driving a late-model car along route 10 through Lawrence, Kansas.
The Zarco 66 Oasis station in Lawrence, Kansas will be the first retailer in the U.S. to sell E15, according to the Renewable Fuels Association. Plans are in the works to offer E15 at a second retail station in Ottawa, Kansas.
E15's limited debut might seem immaterial. However, the fuel's appearance anywhere in the U.S., even a relatively small town in middle America, is significant for the ethanol industry, which is grappling with a supply glut due to low demand. The industry, which has been forced to cut production and idle plants as corn prices skyrocket and gasoline consumption falls, has hoped higher fuel blends (once its rolled out on a larger scale) will drive up demand.
E15, and ethanol in general, continues to be controversial. Earlier this week, a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee hearing on Energy and Power questioned the viability of the ethanol fuel blend, the Hill reported.
E15 has critics beyond the Beltway as well. The fuel can damage small engines such as, those found in lawn mowers and chain saws. And automakers have warned that warranties will not cover damage to engines caused by the fuel blend.
The EPA first declared in October 2010 that gasoline retailers could sell fuel blends that contained up to 15 percent ethanol for use in cars made since 2007 and in newer light-duty vehicles. The federal agency approved a second waiver in January 2011 that extended E15 for use in cars made between 2001 and 2007. Last month, the EPA issued a final approval that allows the fuel to come to market. E15 producers and retailers have to register with the EPA and adhere to a misfueling mitigation plan developed by the RFA to qualify for the waiver program.
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Jul 12, 2012
Think about it...less energy, more consumption per mile used, more purchased and more fuel taxes collected...another reason why the gov doesn't stop the insanity...
Is the taxpayer still subsidizing the production of ethanol? If so, why so? If not, can that fact be a harbinger of more common sense in the congress? If manufacturers of ethanol can't make enough money to stay in business, let 'em go out of business. That's what typically happens when there's no demand for a product or service. Just consider the buggy whip. An additional benefit -- less for the EPA to do. Perhaps they could let some of their rule-makers and enforcers join the rest of the unemployed.
Kirsten, how was fourth grade math? When we go from 10% to 15% we don,t increase by 5%. Figure it out and please double check your math for the next article. Thanks.
The introduction of ethanol to gasoline has only one purpose, to reduce Nox emissions. There is nothing so special about ethanol that makes this a necessity. The implementation of emissions systems has become so convoluted that any attempt to obtain better fuel mileage becomes an internal system conflict. The simplicity of creating a more efficient air/fuel molecular blend completely escapes the engine manufacturers, doing so in itself would increase the efficiency of the engine creating more power reduce emissions on a greater scale and result in a less fuel for equivalent work scenario. ie: more fuel efficient without additional cost to the consumer. The technology currently exists to do exactly that, the only real roadblock is the ecu designs that manage the emissions for the catalytic convertor and that is all the ecu is doing for the emissions ... maintaining a balance of engine exhaust output to support the catalytic convertor. A design solution for the engines throttlebody that alters the intake air density allowing for a better blending of the fuel does exist, if only the emissions systems would cooperate and allow it to work. #gadgetmangroove
This year we are facing a massive corn crop failure which will raise food prices for Americans. The repercussions on the global market could even starve people elsewhere in the world. And yet we want to increase the production of ethanol, which is already consuming 30% of our corn, and put many engines in danger besides. It's government-mandated insanity, pure and simple, backed by big business hoping to make a profit. Greens talk about how big business is raping our environment, but turn a blind eye to this ripoff.
I would love to see straight gas offered at stations as well so my chainsaws and other small engines would run better. There are no stations in my state that offer it. E-15 is not an improvement as far as I'm concerned, less mpg is not progress.
As you say int eh article, it has done nothing but help push up global commodity prices for Corn. Why this is a surprise to anyone with a brain is beyond me. The money behind this would be better spent on pushing towards more fuel efficient vehicles, and leaving food/commodity prices alone. In the UK, average car Petrol MPG is around 40mpg, though we 'make do' with generally smaller cars and do not have a lot lower penetrations of unnecessary and often unnecessaily large pick-up/SUV's endemic in the USA for no real functionaly reason. For diesel powered cars, MPG is 50-60mpg . Noted slight variation in gallon sizes between US and UK Imperial gallon. UK generally 4 cylinder cars, US 6 or 8. See Ford Focus as a prime example of an average UK family car. In US, average MPG is 20-30mpg which is desperately poor.
Phil, if you can get them to sell it to you the gasoline sold for airplanes is not blended with ethanol. But it it expensive.
Picture an America in some parallel universe: The oil industry announces that it is mixing 10% or more of Ethanol into the gasoline supply. Immediately, America's already most hated industry is attacked from all quarters for literally attempting to âwater downâ American's fuel to rip off consumers. Ralph Nader would be filing class action lawsuits on behalf of all consumers for the losses in lower mileage and damage to automobile and other gasoline engines, and Al Gore would go on a rampage about the increased net carbon footprint and other environmental damage because of the resource intensive nature of producing Ethanol. The EPA would move to ban it because it increases air pollution. There'd be food riots in the 3rd world, because of the diversion of food crops to produce Ethanol, and vast amounts of rain forest would be cut down for crop land needed to make up the difference. Oh wait. The last part actually did happen in our universe too. At least the America in that universe retains some degree of sanity. Ours clearly does not. Ethanol is a complete scam. The idea that âethanol is low carbonâ is a flat-out lie, especially considering that it takes a gallon of oil-based products (gasoline, diesel, and fertilizer) to produce a gallon of Ethanol, which actually has lower heat content than the fuel it's replacing. Getting lower mileage these days? That's probably why. Never mind the damage that may be happening to your engine. But now that the US government is also an automaker, they're okay with the idea that your older car is going to die a premature death. Just consider it your sacrifice for keeping the UAW in business.
...plus you need access onto an airport, which is pretty much impossible for non-pilots these post 911 days.
I've looked into that. There are some places listed on pure-gas.org, but they are at least 60 miles away.