• Sep 29, 2010
The fight over upping the ethanol blend in America's gasoline continues with an entire series of salvos from the different camps. What's at stake is raising the amount of ethanol blended into the gasoline supply from a maximum of 10 percent today (making fuel known as E10) to either E12 or E15.
The biggest news recently was a study commissioned by the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) that found that E15 would be just fine for older vehicles on the road. This was followed by the DOE saying it would finish testing E15 in model year 2007 and newer cars by the end of September and 2001-2006 vehicles by November. The EPA says it will make its decision on the E15 blend once it gets the DOE's data.

Edmunds, though, has told the EPA that it should wait until other, ongoing tests are completed next year. Saying, "it is unfair to ask consumers to become the guinea pigs," Edmunds also recommended making E15 an additional optional blend, not a requirement.

The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers also sent a letter to the EPA (available after the jump) requesting a delay in the decision. The letter says, in part:
Mid Level Blend testing by EPA, DOE and the Coordinating Research Council will continue into 2011 for exhaust emissions, on board diagnostics (OBD-II), fuel system durability, evaporative testing, air quality, engine durability, fuel handling, fuel dispenser materials, and cold start drivability. Taking the precautions of awaiting the results of these tests, and providing these results for public notice and comment before ruling, would help assure a safe and positive consumer experience.
The RFA's response to the people against implementing E15 sooner rather than later? This:
Their goal is to continue America's reliance on oil despite the dangers to our economy, our environment, and our security that it poses.
While the OEMs and the ethanol industry and others fight it out, Green Car Advisor (part of Edmunds) found that the lower energy content of ethanol compared to gasoline, even when compensated by the biofuel's ofter-lower price could affect drivers in a big way:
The annual cost to consumers of a mid-range 5 percent drop in fuel economy with E15 used in post-1994 vehicles would be about $1 billion, rising to $12.3 billion if fuel economy dropped by 10 percent.
There are a host of other issues – water use, fertilizers used to grow the corn, corn prices and more, detailed here – that all point to the logic of holding off on this decision. Still, there is a chance that the EPA could make a decision in mid-October. If that happens, then we might see E15 in our pumps by spring 2011.

[Source: Reuters, Cattle Network, Edmunds, Renewable Fuels Association]

FROM THE AUTO ALLIANCE

September 21, 2010
Sent electronically to mccarthy.gina@epa.gov

Gina McCarthy Assistant Administrator, Office of Air and Radiation
USEPA Headquarters
Ariel Rios Building
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, N. W.
Mail Code 6101A
Washington, DC 20460

Re: Pending Decision on Growth Energy Petition for Waiver for E15 Docket ID. No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2009-0211

Dear Assistant Administrator McCarthy:
I am writing to let you know that the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers (Alliance) continues to have concerns regarding the imminent decision by EPA on the Growth Energy E15 waiver request, without the Agency having the benefit of completion of the additional mid-level ethanol blend tests still pending. These concerns have been expressed in a number of comments, letters, emails, and meetings, but I am sending this letter today to reconfirm our position that there is not sufficient testing completed to rule in late September, October or November (contra to your letter to The Honorable Charles Gonzalez dated August 24, 2010). A ruling without completed testing is not supported by our members as original equipment manufacturers.

Mid Level Blend testing by EPA, DOE and the Coordinating Research Council will continue into 2011 for exhaust emissions, on board diagnostics (OBD-II), fuel system durability, evaporative testing, air quality, engine durability, fuel handling, fuel dispenser materials, and cold start drivability. Taking the precautions of awaiting the results of these tests, and providing these results for public notice and comment before ruling, would help assure a safe and positive consumer experience. As you are aware, many other groups also support this position, including the California Air Resources Board (CARB). As mentioned in the CARB comments on the Growth Energy petition, sufficient long-term durability, operability, exhaust, and evaporative emissions testing have not been completed.

It is in the best interest of all participants, including EPA, DOE, and the ethanol industry, that the Agency not rule prematurely on such a sizable change significantly impacting government, industry, and a huge national market of consumers.

Sincerely yours,
Julie C. Becker Vice President, Environment
cc: Honorable Charles Gonzalez


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  • 33 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      I'm against all subsidies and tax credits. It skews markets, kills competition, and causes stupid.
      Think about it. If the government hadn't kept Amtrak from bankrupcy, and now supports the monopoly, we might not have a monopoly; but instead a great rail system run by SouthWest Airlines or someone similar.

      ETHANOL is a net energy loser (or everyone will admit if not a loser, close to it).
      The Cornell study said something like 1.2 gallons of petroleum to make one gallon of ethanol.

      OK, let's say it's only .8 gallons. Should that make us feel any better?
      8 gallons of petroleum products to make 10 gallons of ethanol.

      The economics of it look stupid, and it's not feasible without subsidies AND everyone paying higher prices at the pump. How much would we be paying for gas if it didn't have the damn ethanol in it? (and no deficit spending to support the stupidity)

      Then for those concerned with CO2 and pollutants:
      When you use the 8 gallons of petroleum products to make the 10 gallons of ethanol you are still have the same emissions from that 8 gallons as if you refined it to gasoline and burned it in your tank - or very close.
      Now, add to that the emissions from burning the ethanol.

      Overall, much greater costs, and more emissions. JUST PLAIN STUPID.

      Now corn. Whether we buy the petro from the middle east or not, someone else will buy it, and at a lesser price because they're not competing with U.S.
      Price goes down, demand goes up, more petroleum use worldwide, more pollution, more CO2, etc.

      CORN: We're great at growing corn. Let's trade it for petroleum. They can produce petroleum much cheaper than us (right now).
      Camels - they like camel steak - we'll produce it for them, and trade it for petroleum.

      The world is interconnected. Get over it, and make the most of it.

      Bryce's book GUSHER OF LIES has chapter 12 entitled "THE ETHANOL SCAM"
      I would have named it:
      ETHANOL IS STUPID
        • 4 Years Ago
        Oh, well when you put it that way, it makes more sense!

        /sarcasm

        You're claim that ethanol is just plain stupid is based off of faulty info, so excuse me if I find the claim less than convincing. However feel free to continue capitalizing it, as it makes the argument stronger.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Anyone have any experience with E10 in older vehicles? I'm hearing rumblings that its hard on fuel pumps, but haven't seen real evidence. My 85 Volvo 740 just crapped out with bad fuel pumps, I'm suspecting my 73 Volvo 1800ES's pumps may be getting ready to die, my sister-in-law's Suburban just had its fuel pump die... I recently read an article where a mechanic stated before the change-over he'd replace 6 fuel pumps a year, in the first year of E10, he'd replaced 25...

      Not looking for speculation (the web is full of that already), looking for actual data/experience!
        • 4 Years Ago
        I think the "cleaning effect" is what I'm seeing here. I'm going to preemptively change my 1800's fuel pump and filter (the pump is a 37 year old, 212,000 mile original), and hope everything's good. I know those early Bosch fuel injection systems can get a bit tricky, but it doesn't appear that reasonable mixes of ethanol confuse it. I've also been told that the ethanol actually helps with the "no leaded gasoline" issue by keeping combustion temps a bit lower.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I believe that if you have an engine that has never used any ethanol, the first few times you do use ethanol you have to change the filters. Ethanol acts as a cleaning agent, and it will flush out any accumulated buildup in your engine and knock that junk through the engine, which can cause initial problems. After it's been running on ethanol, it's OK.

        That would seem to jive with the fact that the mechanic saw a number of problems when E10 was introduced.

        Sorry that's not data, but hopefully it helps.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I used far more Ethanol than lousy E10 or E15.
        The oil lobby spreads FUD. In Germany they were telling us that E10 will immedately destroy your engine.
        (ironically on models being advertised E10 capable in the us with the SAME engine)
        all of a sudden E10 was no problem at all. with no change :D

        I tested E45 in my friends 1994 Corolla. It ran until beeing sold.
        I put E70 in my dads VW 97' Passat. It achieved 240 thousand miles and was traded..
        My mums old Fiesta (2000) ran quite fine on E40
        An other friend experimented with an 94 VW Vento(Jetta) with monopoint injection
        Absolutely phenomenal. It ran with E60 till it was sold.
        His Mercedes E320 (94) worked perfectly with E40 it got moar power!

        None of the cars failed. No fuel pump failed. No rubber was eaten trough.
        With Ethanol all cars had more torque at low rpms. so it easily compensates the lower energy density until a certain amount of E.

        I'm operating my 04 prius (got it used) for 1 1/2 year now with E70.
        It works as a charm. The engine becomes so quiet ans smooth with the high octane ethanol it is almost not noticeable when running.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Adding to OrngCrush and lne937s, the alcohol will "wash" the dirt and concentrate it in the filter. Changing fuel filters is crucial to keep the the proper fuel flow without forcing the fuel pump. An old fuel pump working against a lifelong residue accumulation just moved to the filter will "infarct" your car. This would happen IF you were changing from E0 to E10 or E15. From E10 to E15 there would be no difference.

        Some fuel lines are made of material (rubbers) not fully compatible with ethanol. They should be changed. They may react and let some hardly noticeable very small pieces of rubber into the fuel AFTER the filter. This pieces may end creating problems in old carburetor based engines (especially on the small idling metering holes).

        For such old cars, changing those fuel hoses would be advisable anyway, if not already done.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I grew up in the midwest and in the early 1990's tried using E10 for a while because it was cheaper a in a very thirsty 1985 Grand Fury with a 318. One day it just stopped running... then it would start up again... then stop when you stepped on the gas. The culprit ended up being a rubber fuel line elbow running to the fuel pump that was softened by the ethanol and collapsed any time there was any significant fuel demand. I ended up having to replace some other fuel lines as well, as they seemed to have degraded also. I can't remember if I needed to replace the mechanical fuel pump or not, but I probably did anyway to be safe.
      • 4 Years Ago
      What is with people? Do they not understand psychology?

      Older cars need higher AKI fuels, so they should have move to mid-grade if not premium fuel.
      So let regular be E15, let premium be ethanol free, let mid-grade be 7.5 (50/50 blender pumps)
      No one is ticked off.

      Then in a few more years time, say 5-10 years, move regular to 20% ethanol, premium to 5%
      • 4 Years Ago
      The oil industry really wants this to pass. Although oil companies like the guaranteed profits from the federal blending subsidies they get for adding ethanol to gasoline, they are having a hard time reaching the Federal mandates to blend more ethanol into gasoline. This would give them the flexibility to blend more or less as they see fit to reach mandated levels.
        • 4 Years Ago
        If we really wanted to reduce oil dependancy, we would eliminate all ethanol blending subsidies, but maintain the mandate.

        The reason: ethanol blending subsidies go directly to the oil companies to ensure some level of profitability. Oil companies still make more money off of gasoline, but the subsidies help pad their pockets. Oil companies do not sell more ethanol than what they are forced to. If you eliminate the subsidies, it will not decrease the amount of ethanol, as it is mandated. It will, however, increase the costs to the oil companies, which would lead to higher gas prices (which tend to lower consumption). The reduced cost to the taxpayer could be used against the deficit or for other transpotation projects.

        Raising the cap to E15 is a mixed bag. If you can't blend more than E10, then there is no incentive to reduce consumption, as the mandate is in total number of gallons, not percentage of gallons. If the total number of gallons of E10 gasoline sold reduces, then they will not meet the mandate-- so there is an incentive to sell more gasoline with ethanol blended into it. However, if the oil companies can not meet the mandates, then they have to pay penalties, which would be passed on to consumers and act like a gas tax.

        I found this interesting:
        http://robertrapier.wordpress.com/category/ethanol-mandate/
        • 4 Years Ago
        Another thought...

        If oil companies can't blend more than 10% ethanol into gasoline, then they will have to find some other way to meet the 15 Billion gallons they will need to blend by 2015 (we currently consume 138 Billion gallons a year, which would leave them short even if every gallon was E10- if consumption goes down, it will make it even harder on the oil companies). As such, they could potentially reduce the price of E85 dramatically- to the point that they would lose significant money on every gallon (especially if we eliminate the blending subsidy) and reach a low enough price point that a lot of people who actually can use the fuel would choose to use the fuel. Those oil company losses would then by offset by increasing the price of gasoline to regular consumers, which would then reduce consumption...

        As such, it would both create an artificial market for E85 and a price increase for gasoline. We would just need to make sure that the penalties for violating the mandate are more than the losses they would take in order to sell enough E85.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Another idea:

        If we remove the ~$7.5 Billion dollars we will be paying every year directly to oil companies to mix in ethanol that we already have required them to do anyway, we could make a major investment in other technologies that could make a major dent in oil consuption. For instance, we could spend one years worth of subsidies to connect the entire country with Level III fast chargers and pay for the electricity they use. Spend a few more years worth on mass transit. The additional cost to the oil companies for ethanol would be passed on to consumers, eventually reducing gasoline demand. Combined with things like increased CAFE standards, petroleum consumption could go down a lot.

        If we reduced gasoline consumption to 100 Billion gallons and kept 10% max ethanol for regular gasoline, then oil companies would be required to get 1/3 of their ethanol sales from E85 to reach the mandated 15 Billion gallons... which would require high losses a very low price at the pump for people to buy that much. It would be far and away the fastest way to increase E85 adoption- which may make the ethanol supporters happy(?). Just make sure the penalties for not meeting the mandate are high enough- maybe $1-2 for every gallon short.
        • 4 Years Ago
        They absolutely want to raise the cap. Consumers are not demanding E85 and the oil companies are having a very hard time reaching the mandates the the Federal government is forcing on them. If they can't increase the amount of ethanol in regular gasoline, then they will have a very hard time reaching mandated levels. Nobody wants to buy flex fuel and they can't blend more than 10% into regular fuel-- which leads them to trying to comply with a law to sell a product for which there is no market.

        The only reason that this is even an issue is because the government forced the oil companies to blend billions of gallons of ethanol into gasoline. Oil companies oppose the mandate, not the higher blending limits.

        http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/23/business/23ethanol.html
        • 4 Years Ago
        Um. What? They've opposed this the whole way.

        You think they make more money off a tax credit for ethanol than they do selling their own product? Because that's what this is, substituting biofuels for gasoline. Oil companies want to sell gasoline.
        • 4 Years Ago
        "The coalition that includes groups representing the oil and food industries first opposed a proposal to raise the limit to 15 percent. The Environmental Protection Agency could approve that increase for cars 2007 or newer next month. Now, the anti-ethanol coalition is opposing a smaller increase to 12 percent."
        ...
        "The groups that signed the letter include the American Meat Institute, American Petroleum Institute, Grocery Manufacturers Association, National Council of Chain Restaurants, ..."

        from the Des Moines Register: http://blogs.desmoinesregister.com/dmr/index.php/2010/09/28/no-increase-in-ethanol-limit-say-oil-food-groups/

        There you go. Oil industry opposes it. American Petroleum Institute opposes it.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Why do they keep doing this? The ethanol lobby has picked the wrong fight. They will not win this fight and now the guys from Green Car Advisor are trotting out scary sounding numbers which make wonderful talking points:
      " The annual cost to consumers of a mid-range 5 percent drop in fuel economy with E15 used in post-1994 vehicles would be about $1 billion, rising to $12.3 billion if fuel economy dropped by 10 percent."

      And what does "Bubba" hear? "They are going to make us all pay billions of dollars and ruin our cars???"

      Why won't they simply have the fight to get all vehicles fully Flex Fuel enabled? They could win that fight and then start putting e85 out there and advertising it with American flags and painting the pumps red, white and blue.

      Suppose you win this fight to go to E15...now you have everyone in America scared and hating you the way they do the oil lobby. Bad idea.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Exactly right, Dave D. I understand the idea that E15 further builds up the ethanol industry, helping it become more widespread and strong, paving the way for the day when it can really move in to help take gasoline's place.

        But there's only so much money, man-hours, political capital, and media/public/policymaker mindshare around, and the ethanol lobby has had a choice of what to expend its limited resources on. Push all out for a flex fuel mandate, or push for E15.

        Choosing the latter is not only short-term thinking, going for a much smaller guaranteed or near-guaranteed increase in sales and profits instead of a strong possibility of FAR higher sales and profits - it's actually counter-productive by stirring anti-ethanol fear and resentment.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Good points Dave. This is THE battlefield of the century. Because oil is now under attack from electric vehicles AND alternative fuels. They will pour their last billion into fighting the distribution of any domestic or foreign made alcohol fuel.

        But with FFVs on the road and a few happy customers running E85 - the story will change. And if we really want to quit spending $450B for foreign oil - we had best get past the scare tactics of big oil. The fact is you've got Brazil running 80% of their light transport on ethanol. Of course it works and the numbers are fine. Ethanol from biomass or corn WILL start to replace gasoline in more than the mid west.

        FFVs ARE a key to that happening sooner than later.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Ra Conteur

        ...The fact is you've got Brazil running 80% of their light transport on ethanol. ...

        Our figures are good, but not THAT good. :-) We will get there in some more years (~5, I guess!).

        We have some approx. 40M (million) LDV on the road including (~30M) cars (and SUVs, Vans, very-light trucks) and (~10M) motorcycles. There are already more than 10M FFVs as of mid 2010, most of them cars and SUVs. More than 90% off all new cars are FFVs. There are already some Flex-Fuel Motorcycles, including one from Honda use Delphi ECM (if I remember ok). Market here is at a 3.5M vehicles a year.

        Gasoline IS the alternative fuel already, cause Ethanol displaces more than 50% of the otto cycle (SI-Spark Ignited) engine fuel. There is no E0 (Gasolina A) for sale anymore for a long time. Our gasoline (Gasolina C) is E22 (in fact E20 to E25 depending on gov. regulation), and the ethanol/alcohol pumps offer HE100 (hydrous/wet ethanol - 95%ethanol+5%water azeotropic mixture). FFVs accept any mix of E22 x HE100.

        IMHO, you should press for more open fuel standards and FFVs that include E100 and HE100. It's very easy to pre-heat fuel rail, or use new heating fuel injector to cold start engines. Using E85 or E100 should be an option depending on local whether. This would be similar to what is done with a seasonal formula for gasoline, that changes the amount of smaller chain hydrocarbons that are more volatile to enable "easy" cold starts or less (VOC) pollution. If already demanding a slightly more advanced engine control, I would add the cold start heaters coupled with E100/HE100.

        BTW, who is afraid of a bit of water ? This small amount of water in HE100 works just as a small amount of EGR ! (Mostly a bit less temp and NOx at high loads).
      • 4 Years Ago
      @28

      • 4 Years Ago
      Doesn't Ethanol hold more water when stored over time? I have a Suburban that I don't drive much (about once or twice a month), would the tank be filled with water while it sit there? That wouldn't be good.
        • 4 Years Ago
        No your tank won't be filled with water until you keep your gas cap open.
        Ethanol is able to bind with water which is a good thing.
        It gets the water out of your tank.

        Pure gas contains a lot of additives that are designed to do the same thing, but which do a worse job than ethanol, and they even won't burn very well.

        During my internship I let my Prius sit for 2 months with E70 in its tank.
        Absolutely noooo problem.
      • 4 Years Ago
      @28 again

      Would you be willing to pay the approximately $1.00 in subsidies if you had to pay it out of your own pocket?

      That would be adding about a dollar to the price of a gallon of gas at the pump.

      NO?
      No, you'd rather we tack each one of those billions of dollars on to our national debt, and let our grandchildren pay for it. Or, when inflation fires back up any dough you now have will be worth less.

      #5 has never been debunked. Why hasn't our DOE, DOAg, or even DOT done a decent study of the subject ???? Fire them all in Nov. 2010, and 2012
        • 4 Years Ago
        Yes, the corn ethanol negative energy balance has been disproven multiple times since 2005-2006 when the report was published. In fact, DOE and USDA and EPA have all done science to the issue. Long story short, the reports flaw is that in considered ethanol production in the worst possible light, and that's how they found it to have a negative energy balance. So, at it's worse, ethanol production is a net loss, but most people don't produce it in the most inefficient way, because that's how you lose money and these are businesses. If you can't find anything on it at DOE, then you're being lazy, or haven't been paying attention. Also, how do we fire the DOE and USDA? Have you some brilliant back up idea, or are you being reactionary?

        "Would you be willing to pay the approximately $1.00 in subsidies if you had to pay it out of your own pocket?

        That would be adding about a dollar to the price of a gallon of gas at the pump."

        I'm not totally certain I get your point here. Are you trying to say I would not prefer to pay an extra dollar at the pump for gas? Because I would not mind at all. Gas is artificially cheap and has led to us to develop very wasteful habits in regards to our limited supply of fuel.
        Just so I get this right. It's OK to subsidize oil, because if we don't we have to pay that dollar out of our pocket. But it's a total waste to subsidize other alternative fuels, because it comes out of our pocket? Is dependence on oil not one of the biggest drivers of our national debt? You know we don't have a lot of it and we have to send a significant portion of our money overseas to get it from nations that don't like us. That's not even considering all the money we put into our military to secure those supplies and all the bribes to hostile countries to keep the juice flowing.

        Why do you assume I would immediately want to add to the deficit? How do you know I'm not in favor of offsets? Have we discussed these things? No? Then please don't put words in my mouth. I'm just as concerned about my future, the future of my children and the future of their children.
      • 4 Years Ago
      25 posts above and not a single concern with the following about Ethanol:

      1. Farmers are subsidized
      2. Producers are subsidized
      3. We have a import tariff to make Brazilian ethanol cost more in the US - - - why?
      3. Makes our food cost more.
      4. less energy content in ethanol vs. gas - significantly less
      5. several studies (like a Cornell Univ) argue that it takes more fossil fuel to farm, transport, and refine ethanol than the energy content of the final ethanol (A NET ENERGY LOSS)
      6. "there isn't one grain in the world sold in the free market (meaning energy)" includes Brazil
      7. EPA studies show that by using ethanol, VOC and NOx emissions increase. California's ARB wants to stop using it, but the EPA won't let them.
      8. Uses lots of groundwater, and more fertilizer run-off into wetlands and rivers (also petrochemical based) .
      If irrigated farming, lots and lots more water.

      Bryce's book GUSHER OF LIES
      chapter 12 entitled THE ETHANOL SCAM
      has 222 footnotes. I looked them over. Pretty credible sources including about 1/3rd from our own government agencies.

      Now, start screaming and tell everyone how Bryce is a moron, and financed by the oil companies, and a _________ slimebag.
      If you are open-minded you will read both sides of the argument like I did.
      Being a scientist, this one made more sense to me. Sorry.

      ps. My boater friends hate it. Scream about it. Screws up their engines and fuel tanks.

        • 4 Years Ago
        1. So? Do you have a problem with a stable food market? I understand you hate subsidies, but the alternative to gov't assistance is essentially a chaotic food market, where you don't know how much food prices will fluctuate.
        2. Yes, and so are petroleum producers. Why does petroleum deserve subsidies, but not alternatives?
        3. Because of the Corn Lobby not wanting international competition. Crappy, I know.
        3 (again). Sort of. Doesn't have as much as an effect on food prices as gas prices though.
        4. It has roughly 2/3rds the energy content of petrol. However it improves your octane. So, yes you lose some mpg, but hey, it beats funding terrorist, right? Or is our society so shallow that we're not willing to take a small hit in the fuel tank and would rather keep sending our youth to risk their lives to hold onto that extra 2mpg?
        5. Several = 2: Debunked numerous times. Ethanol from corn has a poor energy balance, but it is not negative. Honestly, some older tech could be negative, but as ethanol production improves, it becomes more efficient, while oil mining becomes more and more difficult, improving ethanol's energy balance, and that will continue to improve.
        6. I don't understand your point here.
        7. Actually CARB has been providing pathways to allow certain types of ethanol, but they are hostile towards corn ethanol from the midwest. If they are so hostile toward ethanol, and trying to get rid of it, why are they providing pathways to increase use of certain types of ethanol? Because it's better than petroleum.
        8. Very true, and this should be corrected, but this is a general agriculture problem, which needs to be addressed. However this should not get caught up in the debate on whether or not we should be replacing petroleum. In other words, these problem exist whether or not we're making ethanol, and fighting against ethanol is not going to solve these problems. However increasing the amount of corn ethanol can exacerbate it, so it is a concern that needs to be addressed. Hence CARB's method.
      • 4 Years Ago
      It's NOT a "Mandate." It would allow a filling station to sell E15 if it so desired. You could purchase it if you so desired. Note: The "Mandate" is for the "obligated" blenders to blend, by 2013, ITII, 15 Billion gallons/yr. That's just a skosche over 10% of our total gasoline/ethanol use.

      If you want to buy "pure" gasoline this is a good rule for you. Blenders will be able, as a result of selling some E15 along with their E10, to sell some E0.

      Most people, depending on how, and where they drive, will probably see a loss of approx. 3 to 4% from E15 vs E0. 1 to 1.2% from E15 to E10
      • 4 Years Ago
      I would like to see the calcs on that one. Replace 5% of gasoline with ethanol and lose 5% fuel mileage? I figured it would be closer to 5% x 33% or a loss of 1.7%.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I don't think it's going to be that extreme, but i'll tell you this.
        Hypermilers noticed that they lost 2-7mpg when the e10 switchover happened. Thus, there's a big market for 'pure gas'.

        This won't be as drastic of a change, but they're still cuttin' our product!!!
        • 4 Years Ago
        I guess Dave is right. They are probably comparing E15 with E0 on an energy content by volume basis and finding a 5% drop. Comparing E15 with E10 would be ~ a 1.7% difference.

        Approximation using data (E0/E100) from:
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethanol_fuel

        Mix - proportional energy content by volume
        E0 : 1.00
        E100 : 0.66
        E15 : 0.9490 (=0.85+0.15*0.66)
        E12 : 0.9592 (=0.88+0.12*0.66)
        E10 : 0.9660 (=0.90+0.10*0.66)

        This is only a gross approximation of what the "extra" volume of fuel consumption (and hence fuel cost) would be.

        Ethanol enhances octane rating of the mix (and substitutes MTBE that would have been necessary as well as some refining-upgrading to achieve a certain rating).

        If E0 was already at the desired rating then the E15 mix would be higher octane grade and admit more advance in spark timing and hence more power and economy in engines with knock sensors that auto adjust for fuel quality.

        If E15 just achieves the nominal octane rating, than lower rated E0 is being used in the mix and should cost a bit less.

        • 4 Years Ago
        I assume they are talking about the difference between pure gasoline and E15 being 5% decrease in fuel economy??? Misleading, but that at least makes sense.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Yes for the E85 Flexfuel approach. The higher blend mandate is going to be viewed as a sham. It's not going to be viewed as anything but a Gov't enforced subsidy for Big Corn. Losing support from both sides of the argument.

      I believe even mandating Flexfuel(being as small price to pay as it is) and promoting more blender pumps in states that have Ethanol plants and stable supplies many times more productive and more profitable in the long run.
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