For some drivers, ethanol-blended fuels such as E15 and E85 generate the same kind of confusion as stalactites and stalagmites do for high school geography students. Now, E15, which is fuel sold with a 15 percent blend of ethanol, is creating confusion all on its own.

That's what the Minneapolis Star Tribune is reporting now that many gas stations are on the verge of adding so-called "blender pumps" that can distribute E15. While the pumps will have a government warning saying E15 can be used for cars made after the 2000 model year, automakers aren't so clear. Toyota and Lexus, for example, say on their model-year 2012 gas caps that E15 shouldn't be used (pictured), and Ford is also warning its customers against using E15.

Iowa and Kansas are states where E15 may be sold as soon as this month, Bob Dinneen, the CEO of ethanol trade group Renewable Fuels Association, told the Tribune. Dinneen called E15, "probably the single most studied fuel in the history of EPA waivers." But then there's the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, which represents Ford, General Motors and Chrysler, among other automakers and says E15 hasn't been adequately tested.

Last month, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as expected, approved the first applications to produce E15, which can be made with as much as 50 percent more ethanol than standard fuel, which so far has been limited to 10 percent ethanol. Automakers and recreation vehicle makers are among the entities that have fought against allowing widespread use of E15, claiming that the higher alcohol content may damage engines and fuel systems. Still, the government continues to push ethanol as a way to cut foreign-oil dependence, even though last year U.S. Congress terminated a 30-year tax subsidy on corn-based ethanol. The ethanol industry received an estimated $45 billion in subsidies since 1980.


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 18 Comments
      PriusBlack
      • 2 Years Ago
      Ethanol is wacky: especially ethanol made from corn sugars: The only ethanol that makes ethical sense for fuel use is ethanol made for bio-mass waste cellulose : used in vehicles specifically designed to use the ethanol. Ethanol has less energy per gallon = lower miles per gallon. With gas prices already around $4/gal, I dont think anyone wants their fuel economy to decrease because the EPA or some other Corn Farming association has railroaded 15% et-oh addition into law. Using ethanol gas in engines and fuel systems not specifically designed to handle ethanol results in premature engine failure. Ethanol made for corn is bad for food prices : they are using land that could be use to produce food, to grow corn sugar fuel crops: that does not make sense ! We need to develop waste cellulose ethanol : and then only sell it to people who operate vehicles that are designed to handle ethanol...
      EVnerdGene
      • 2 Years Ago
      Like hydrogen, ethanol is also an energy carrier. It takes energy to make ethanol from corn. Natural gas is the most common energy input because of its availability and current price. Add the energy (oil) it takes to farm, truck, and the petrochemicals as fertilizer and herbicides. Damage to farmlands - runoff, water use, and the increases in corn prices - corn syrup, fillers, and feeds; result in increased prices at the grocery store. Bad science or just plain stupid ? Just plain screwy, or we be screwed?
      Naturenut99
      • 2 Years Ago
      re: "the same kind of confusion as stalactites and stalagmites do for high school geography students." That's geology, not geography. Geology= rocks, etc. Geography=maps, etc.
        SVX pearlie
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Naturenut99
        More importantly, both stalagtites and stalagmites are shaped kinda like cones, so are essentially the same from a geometry standpoint, with identical ability to rotate about the Z-axis, and similar ability to invert.
          Spec
          • 2 Years Ago
          @SVX pearlie
          And if the structures are large enough, you might be able to detect stalagtites and stalagmites from the surface using the teachings of geophysics.
        Letstakeawalk
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Naturenut99
        Stalactites hang tight to the ceiling; stalagmites might trip you up on the floor. Simple.
          SVX pearlie
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          Both stalagtites and stalagmites are found in caves, from a geography standpoint.
        Joeviocoe
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Naturenut99
        I like where this conversation is going... can we get this thread up past 100 comments just on this topic? :)
          marcopolo
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          @LTW, If a stalagmites grows and joins a stalactite, it would be a ...wait ,....dang, I've forgotten the punchline... Signed, A Bat Too damn long in this cave.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          http://phys.org/news/2012-05-stalagmites-climate.html "here is an old trick for remembering the difference between stalactites and stalagmites in a cave: Stalactites hold tight to the ceiling while stalagmites might one day grow to reach the ceiling. Now, it seems, stalagmites might also fill a hole in our understanding of Earth's climate system and how that system is likely to respond to the rapid increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide since preindustrial times." ___ Seems germane to the thread...
      george costanza
      • 2 Years Ago
      since both popular mechanics and popular science are 'liberal' propaganda. I hope it immed. ruins all ICE engines polluting lawmowers for lazy as sh(* americans who cant even use reel mower for tiny little dandelion patch and then people might grow a brain and get off oil...otherwise ignore everything. dont believe 'nuthin. even when congress snakes have to sneak it through...ethanol bush's baby. awesome...I blame Obama! why dont people understand cos. sell you meaningless bloated suvs, a giant tractor mower for your corner lot you dont need all for THEIR profit from YOUR stup!dity and counting on your laziness??? astounding. sux that it will take natl. bankruptcy before people will think for themselves. home prices all time low yet still stupid to buy a home since you are on hook for all climate disasters as in middle class get fu*9ed by welfare deadbeats at top and bottom. future looking very very sh!tty for anybody with self respect in US however few that are left in this reptilian cesspool.
      goodoldgorr
      • 2 Years Ago
      This fuel have been tested bad for engines parts, poor consumption, attack the o2 sensor and fuel pump. Try to avoid this product from goverment and wall street speculators.
        george costanza
        • 2 Years Ago
        @goodoldgorr
        you cant avoid it is you use gas. it will be mandated like E10 is now. you have no choice. except to get off oil....or keep spending money on more and more as engines will break down faster and fater. probably the ultimate plan anyway...one insidious way to fool the masses which these days are pretty fu*(ing easily fooled looking at the latest shiny object.
      PR
      • 2 Years Ago
      Let's see who the first automobile manufacturer is who will openly admit they didn't over-design their tolerances to handle just a 5% higher ethanol content in gas... Those companies with poor design practices will out themselves for their own poor design practices.
      SVX pearlie
      • 2 Years Ago
      "Dinneen called E15, "probably the single most studied fuel in the history of EPA waivers." I re-read that several times, because I kept seeing "probably the single most stupid fuel in the history of EPA waivers" and nodding my head.
      Spec
      • 2 Years Ago
      " subsidies since 1980" If EVs still get big subsidies in 30 years then EVs will have failed.
        EZEE
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Spec
        Wondering why your post was downvoted....? Maybe I am naive, but I am kinda hoping that the Toyota Solid State or the IBM Lithium Air is working by then - at that point, I imagine people in government will be screaming at the automakers or IBM for windfall profits on all olf the electric vehicles they are selling! :D (which, would be nice screaming, as each time they inhale, the air will be cleaner due to EV's!) Once that is the case, then why need a subsidy?
      mustsvt
      • 2 Years Ago
      I am already being forced to put E10 in my car without a choice, E15 makes no sense except to the EPA and farmers. Forget about potential damage to the the engine or fuel systems, the fuel economy hit alone from even more ethanol should make E15 DOA.
    • Load More Comments
    Advertisement
    2015 Ford Mustang
    MSRP: $23,800 - $46,170
    2015 Jeep Cherokee
    MSRP: $22,995 - $30,795
    2015 Subaru Forester
    MSRP: $22,195 - $33,095
    2015 Honda Accord
    MSRP: $22,105 - $33,630
    2015 Toyota Highlander
    MSRP: $29,665 - $44,040
    Advertisement