Many automakers are already and quietly ready for E15.

2014 should be – again – an interesting year for the US ethanol industry. The big fight, obviously, continues over E15 (a blend of 15 percent ethanol and 85 percent gasoline) and a general increase in the amount of the biofuel in the US national gas supply. Some scientists say there is no "meaningful differences" in new engines, but there is nonetheless a broad battle over the Renewable Fuels Standard between the corn industry in the midwest (including politicians, like state governors), which is in favor, versus the oil industry, against. But here's the thing, automakers are already and quietly ready for more ethanol.

Ethanol Producer has collected the status reports of major automakers and finds them with a bunch of E15-ready vehicles. Ford has approved E15 for all of its new light trucks, cars and SUVs and General Motors says the same, and for all of every Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet and GMC made since 2012. Honda, Jaguar, Mercedes-Benz, Land Rover and Toyota are also either entirely ready for E15 with their 2014 MY vehicles or mostly ready (Toyota's '14 fleet is two-thirds ready, apparently). Jeep and Chrysler are two brands that still specifically say their vehicles are not to be used with biofuels stronger than E10.

What's interesting is that, by the automakers officially saying their vehicles are now E15 ready, there might be something to the worry that earlier vehicles are not ready. Or maybe not. Or maybe they're just listening to their lawyers and being extra careful. Either way, 2014 is going to be interesting.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 37 Comments
      mustsvt
      • 1 Year Ago
      Even if it is perfectly safe, why would I want to use E15 and get worse mileage than I am already getting by being forced to use E10? If we could make our ethanol from something other than corn in this country, it might make more sense to pursue it. However, it seems ill advised to try to keep trying to shove E15+ down our collective throats.
        raktmn
        • 1 Year Ago
        @mustsvt
        mustsvt? Who is shoving a single drop of E15 down anyone's throat? E15 is purely a voluntary purchase. There is absolutely no E15 mandate. If you don't want to buy E15, don't buy it. Are you one of those people who want to repeal gas stations having the right to choose to sell E15 to customers who choose to buy it of their own free will? If so, why do you want to force more gasoline down the throats of folks who would rather buy fuel with 5% less gasoline in it? If not, why continue to complain about a fuel that you can simply choose to never buy?
          mustsvt
          • 1 Year Ago
          @raktmn
          My problem with it raktmn is the fact that despite overwhelming evidence that ethanol production is not doing anything meaningful for the environment, the government and special interests are looking to divert more resources and food production to its increased production. I already have no choice when it comes to E10. It is naïve to think that if E15 goes into wide production that my opportunity to avoid it will be very difficult if not impossible. None of this even addresses the impact E15 could have on older engines and fuel systems.
          raktmn
          • 1 Year Ago
          @raktmn
          mustsvt - We've already had E85 since the 1990's, and it isn't mandated anywhere after two decades, so your slippry slope argument doesn't hold water. You don't have any choice about E10 for a completely scientific reason directly related to smog. Pure gasoline requires an oxygenate in order to burn completely. Without an oxygenate, E0 gas produces significantly more smog than E10. This science isn't even up for debate. It is proven through years of actual smog compliance test results proven to reduce the smog you breath. That has nothing to do with E15 regulations. Heck, they aren't even under the same department in the fed. govt. To drive that point home, blenders aren't even mandated to specifically use ethanol as the oxygenate. They are free today to use any lawful oxygenate they want. It would be naive to expect there to be any crossover between E15 and laws requiring oxygenated fuel to cut smog that don't even specifically mandate ethanol be used as the oxygenate. Do you believe there is an environmental benefit to using some energy from Solar, Wind, Electricity and Natural Gas to power your car instead of just 100% gasoline? The total amount of energy that goes into producing ethanol is not all from gas and diesel. In fact, the majority of the energy in well-to-wheel for creating ethanol actually comes from these sources, and not from gas or diesel. Ethanol is another way to increase how much of our transportation system is ultimately powered by Solar, Wind, Electricity and Natural Gas. Especially with more ethanol producers powering their plants increasingly with green electricity sources. People who are for these energy sources powering our vehicles sometimes fail to truly understand where the energy comes from to create ethanol, and simply don't know that the overwhelming evidence is that ethanol is doing meaingful things for the environment. Other folks really don't care about green fuels at all, and just are anti-ethanol because they buy into all the FUD from the oil industry saying ethanol isn't green.
        Joeviocoe
        • 1 Year Ago
        @mustsvt
        The argument is that since ethanol is cheaper and domestic, as compared to gasoline... it is less subject to price spikes and gasoline will remain cheaper in the long run. One of the reasons given for why gasoline is not as expensive as predicted... is not only increase in domestic petroleum production... but also ethanol (E10) being "shoved down our collective throats. So the argument goes that although your mileage may suffer a bit, you save more money overall. However, the Ethanol (Corn) industry is so heavily subsidized... that money saved at the pump is likely taken from the collective anyway. Me personally, I don't think subsidies should continue... and ethanol will suffer the same fate as biodiesel after the blenders lost the $1/gal credit. The idea of Ethanol may be sound (cleaner, domestic, cheaper)... but if it needs to massive subsidies to survive for this long, there needs to be another way. Subsidies should be something that is made to expire, not continue in a revolving door of political money as it has been. *disclaimer: I am in favor of consumer side subsidies, where money is only given (or taxes credited) when an actual vehicle is sold and number of miles driven are definitely displaced... But NOT in favor of infrastructure side subsidies, where money is spent on production capacity and/or distribution which may or may not ever reach a consumer to displace actual emissions or consumption. This includes giving subsidies to "flex-fuel" vehicles which are sold in areas that do not even have E85 pumps. (withhold subsidies for "flex-fuel" vehicles until proof is submitted that the drivers are fueling up with E85).
          raktmn
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          Dang it, this was supposed to be in response to Joe's post about pricing and energy use, but somehow got posted to the top. Joe, right now the gasoline part of E10 is made out of unfinished "RBOB" or "CBOB" gasoline. BOB's are subgrade blendstock with an octane rating that is too low to be sold in gas stations in the US. Typically RBOB/CBOB octane rating is around 82-84 octane. It is cheaper and it requires less refining to create 82-84 octane blendstock then it is for an oil company to create 87 octane E0. When blenders "finish" RBOB or CBOB into 87 and higher octane finished fuels that can be sold in gas stations, they blend in 113 octane ethanol to bring the fuel up in octane. Ethanol happens to be by far the cheapest octane additive on the market right now. If you remove ethanol from finished gasoline, this octane will have to be replaced with some other octane additive, such as napthaline, etc. These octane additives are more expensive, and require more refining (including more electricity and oil). This would increase the price of your gasoline, and would increase the amount of energy and oil and refining required to create each gallon of fuel you burn. More energy and fuel will be burned in creating your straight E0 gas in order to make it higher in octane. So there is no free lunch. You have 2 choices: 1) Take the roughly 3% hit on fuel economy while paying less per gallon of fuel. or 2) Pay more per gallon of fuel and end up using more total energy per gallon in additional refining and base oil consumption costs that occur before that E0 even gets to your local gas station. In addition, some sort of un-named oxygenate would need to be added to E0 in order to reduce smog. What that mystery oxygenate would be besides ethanol is not known, and the cost to refine this theoretical fuel additive would likely also increase how much you pay per gallon of fuel. Right now ethanol solves 2 problems with one stone. It provides octane, and it is an oxygenate that helps gasoline burn completely. Removing ethanol from fuel would require both an oxygenate and an octane additive to replace it. All that costs money, and burns more energy before E0 even makes it to your gas tank.
          Marcopolo
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          @ Joeviocoe I agree with you that governments have a responsibility to regulate and encourage beneficial technologies in the public interest. What, riles mustsvt, and so many others, is the government's removal of choice from it's citizen/consumers, by the draconian imposition of a mandate. Because the US ethanol industry is based on corn as a feedstock, this has resulted in the US government 'forcing ' it's citizens to continue to be complicit in is own folly. Remove the mandate and the entire US corn-ethanol industry would collapse. The mandate harms the environment, impoverishes poorer nations, and remove the right of choice from the US people, for what benefit ? The only loss created by abolition of the mandate, would be to a small percentage of US corn-farmers, some farm belt politicians, investors and operators of ethanol plants, and the professional lobbyists of the RFA !
      Marcopolo
      • 1 Year Ago
      Well, y'know it's got to be desperate when the last defenders of the mandate for corn-ethanol, have to post screeds of jargon about it's blending process ! The argument that the US con-ethanol is essential because of it's value as an oxygenate, is simply dishonest nonsense. The need for ethanol as an oxygenate, is relatively small quantity. (less than 1%) . The US could easily produce all it's requirements from Sugar Cane or other environmentally acceptable sources. The problem is not ethanol, but that the US ethanol industry uses corn (or corn derivatives) as feedstock to produce ethanol. An IEA agricultural science report observed ; “An acre of U.S. corn yields about 7,110 pounds of corn for processing into 328 gallons (1,242 litres) of ethanol. But planting, growing and harvesting that much corn requires about 140 gallons ( 530 litres) of fossil fuels/gasoline” [equivalent to ~739 litres of ethanol.] " Since then, a multitude of environmental, scientific and economic papers have been published by experts from all sides of the spectrum exposing the disasters of corn-based ethanol. Even the most famous environmental advocates, who were once in favour, have joined in a broad alliance against the continued, mandated, use of corn-based ethanol. Are all these people wrong ? Are only the US ethanol lobbyists correct ? Even the International ethanol industry is united in their condemnation of corn as a feedstock. At some stage, governments must have the courage to stand up to Industry lobbyists, and political pressure groups and do what's right in the name of the majority. End the mandate in 2014 !
        Electron
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Marcopolo
        @ "marcopolo": This would be your fourth lengthy rant in this thread alone. Curious... for a man of wealth and taste involved in a wide range of activities all over the globe you sure seem to have a lot of spare time left to plaster your pro big oil gospel all over a range of green car blogs so I have to ask: could the claims you make about yourself be just a web of deceit carefully crafted to boost your credibility on this forum? I don't mean offence of course, I just think you should know that everybody with half a brain has long since realized that the sort of guy you claim to be would have better things to do with his precious time.
          Electron
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Electron
          @"marcopolo" Guess I could spend a lot of time refuting the endless stream of unsubstantiated claims your little thought control operation on this blog consists of but some of us have lives outside cyberspace. Nor do I need to if I can simply point out the obvious fact that you are a fraud.
          raktmn
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Electron
          Marco, your reputation as a "Concern Troll" is so massive, that even folks on other green car websites know about it!!!
          Marcopolo
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Electron
          @ Electron I notice that you never actually dispute anything I write, but seem obsessed by some weird vendetta against me on a personal level. If it were in person, it would be called stalking ! You're like one of those annoying pests at a bar, who keep coming back provoking until they either get removed by security, or receives a more direct response ! Now, be a good fella, and go bother someone else ....
      Smoking_dude
      • 1 Year Ago
      I know how they get ready. As E10 was introduces 5years ago introduced in Germany, all cars were only E5 capable. But interestingly the SAME cars that were exported to the USA were E10 capable for years. - A mystery - After years of STRUGGLING the German carmakers "tested" their cars for E10 and 99% had 0 problems. I would never have thought of that. so the same will happen with E15...
      2 wheeled menace
      • 1 Year Ago
      Can't wait to have worse fuel economy again ...
      m_2012
      • 1 Year Ago
      STOP subsidizing it. STOP subsidizing oil. Let the market figure it out. If people would rather burn corn than eat it, so be it but do it at the real price. It only decreases fuel economy so based off that alone, people will not want it especially with the removed subsidies.
        Allch Chcar
        • 1 Year Ago
        @m_2012
        If they stop requiring Renewables and deregulate the Gasoline industry nothing will change. It will go back to where Petroleum was the only option for a vehicle outside of hobby companies. As it is, 93% of transportation is Petroleum derived and that has only changed significantly in the last 10 years. Removing subsidies for domestic energy production will only lead to importing of more foreign energy. Everyone subsidizes their energy production these days. It makes good economic sense to subsidize domestic energy over foreign energy.
        raktmn
        • 1 Year Ago
        @m_2012
        How about putting the real full prices on gasoline, and charge the full $10-14 dollars per gallon including externalities?
      raktmn
      • 1 Year Ago
      Joe, right now the gasoline part of E10 is made out of unfinished "RBOB" or "CBOB" gasoline. BOB's are subgrade blendstock with an octane rating that is too low to be sold in gas stations in the US. Typically RBOB/CBOB octane rating is around 82-84 octane. It is cheaper and it requires less refining to create 82-84 octane blendstock then it is for an oil company to create 87 octane E0. When blenders "finish" RBOB or CBOB into 87 and higher octane finished fuels that can be sold in gas stations, they blend in 113 octane ethanol to bring the fuel up in octane. Ethanol happens to be by far the cheapest octane additive on the market right now. If you remove ethanol from finished gasoline, this octane will have to be replaced with some other octane additive, such as napthaline, etc. These octane additives are more expensive, and require more refining (including more electricity and oil). This would increase the price of your gasoline, and would increase the amount of energy and oil and refining required to create each gallon of fuel you burn. More energy and fuel will be burned in creating your straight E0 gas in order to make it higher in octane. So there is no free lunch. You have 2 choices: 1) Take the roughly 3% hit on fuel economy while paying less per gallon of fuel. or 2) Pay more per gallon of fuel and end up using more total energy per gallon in additional refining and base oil consumption costs that occur before that E0 even gets to your local gas station. In addition, some sort of un-named oxygenate would need to be added to E0 in order to reduce smog. What that mystery oxygenate would be besides ethanol is not known, and the cost to refine this theoretical fuel additive would likely also increase how much you pay per gallon of fuel. Right now ethanol solves 2 problems with one stone. It provides octane, and it is an oxygenate that helps gasoline burn completely. Removing ethanol from fuel would require both an oxygenate and an octane additive to replace it. All that costs money, and burns more energy before E0 even makes it to your gas tank.
        EZEE2
        • 1 Year Ago
        @raktmn
        Could you expand on the acronyms? You lost me, and I am to lazy to google. But I am honest...
        EZEE2
        • 1 Year Ago
        @raktmn
        Rak One more question - you have said that gas stations have to have an E0 pump on hand - is that all gas stations, or just in some states? I had a water separater installed on my boat (it is trailered, so I do not usually fill up at the marina), but at E15 we are stating to get a little high for maritime use,e ven with the water separator. Hope you had a nice New Year's. I called up an ex and got a room at a crowne plaza on the beach. Oddly, their party and room combo was the same that many places were charging just for a party.
        raktmn
        • 1 Year Ago
        @raktmn
        2EZEE -- Those are just acronyms for different types of blendstock. Blendstock is unfinished gasoline without any of the additives, detergents, etc that you get from finished gasoline at the pump. The actual meaning of the acronyms really don't explain much, but here they are: Reformulated Blendstock for Oxygenate Blending (RBOB) Conventional Gasoline Blending Components (CBOB) As for your second question, I didn't say that gas stations selling E15 must have an E0 pump. I said they must have either a dedicated E10 pump OR a dedicated E0 pump. All the rules for oxygenated fuels still apply, so for example in Florida which has no E10 mandate, the gas station could choose to either have an E0 OR an E10 dedicated pump. In a state that requires E10, it would have to be an E10 pump, but that has nothing to do with the E15 regulations. That is the oxygenated fuel requirements that can be different in different states, and even different in regions within a state. Still recovering from ethanol related New Year's celibrations myself. A local distillery just released a new batch of Gin for the holidays, and it sure went down smooth. Too smooth... Did you get your buddy to video?
          EZEE2
          • 1 Year Ago
          @raktmn
          :D I was actually the one tasked with doing video taping when his 'business' first started up. With the exception if a couple of stand in roles, I was never on the other side of the camera. Thanks for the info - I guess I need to research me the stations nearest to me and see if any have E0. That, or marina for gas. Ironically, I got that DOE app so I can find E85 for my ranger. I never got into gin, but scotch, rum, tequila (although that gives me a headache in excess) and brandy. Which is a quality gun to try? The good stuff is always so much better than the cheap stuff (except crown royal - no idea what people see in that).
          raktmn
          • 1 Year Ago
          @raktmn
          Gin martini's with Queen olives are a classic. Good for getting your "Mad Men" on at a suit and tie party. Very Jack Draper. I won't give up my local small batch secrets. But if you want a good gin, Bombay Sapphire is widely available top shelf gin. If you want to go smaller, Junipero Gin by Anchor Distillery is a good product for a decent price, and is especially good for a Gin Martini. Small olives don't cut it. You need queens to do it right.
      mikeybyte1
      • 1 Year Ago
      And what about older cars that are on the road? How will they deal with E15? As others have pointed out, this is a big juggernaut industry that continues to grow while being propped up by big subsidies. Ethanol isn't the answer. The focus should be on hybrid/PHEV/BEV.
        raktmn
        • 1 Year Ago
        @mikeybyte1
        If you have an older car, and you don't want to fill it with E15, don't choose to buy E15. The regulations for E15 say that every gas station that sells E15 must also have at least one dedicated pump that has E10 or E0. There is no govt subsidy on E15. The Blender's tax credit for E10 (that would have applied to E15) expired Dec 31st, 2011 before any E15 was ever sold.
        raktmn
        • 1 Year Ago
        @mikeybyte1
        Mike, there is no such thing as a single answer. Even the most optimistic of EV/PHEV proponents (including myself) understand that it will take decades for EV's and PHEV's to become a significant percent of all new vehicles sold in the US. And even after EV's/PHEV's get a significant share in new car sales, there will still be 20 years worth of existing gas cars still on the road. Simply ignoring what is happening with all our existing gas cars for 40 or 50 years while hoping for EV's/PHEV's to replace them is no answer. Biofuels are part of any comprehensive energy plan for reducing oil consumption, and are the only fuel replacement that can be used in our current fleet of ICE cars, and in all the ICE cars that continue to be built each year into the future. If you have a better replacement for biofuels in all the ICE engines that are already out there, and continue to be built, I'd love to hear it.
      raktmn
      • 1 Year Ago
      Wow. Funny how some folks get easily confused by the term "fossil fuels/gasoline” and confuse it with meaning just gasoline and diesel. By "fossil fuels", this includes all the natural gas used for fertilizer, and everything used to make the electricity, and the natural gas burned at the distillery. This is the vast majority of the energy inputs into making ethanol. And we here at ABG are all FOR powering our transportation on clean natural gas and electricity, right? Right?? Here are the actual real numbers of the amount of gasoline and diesel used to make ethanol, from primary sources like the USDA's official reports: "Only about 17 percent of the energy used to produce ethanol comes from liquid fuels, such as gasoline and diesel fuel." http://www.oregon.gov/energy/RENEW/Biomass/docs/FORUM/aer-814.pdf And: Energy Input: Diesel 5.81 Gallons/acre of corn Gasoline 1.92 Gallons/acre of corn http://www.usda.gov/oce/reports/energy/2008Ethanol_June_final.pdf The rest of the difference between these 8 gallons and the 140 number is all energy equivalent inputs coming from electricity and natural gas. It is hilarious when folks who claim to support powering vehicles with electricity and natural gas, rail irrationally against ethanol, not understanding that 83% of the energy that goes into creating ethanol comes from the same electricity and natural gas that would be used to power EV's and natural gas alternative fuel vehicles. Are EV's and natural gas cars even better? Sure. But there are not 300+ million EV's and natural gas vehicles out there for everyone to own. They physically don't exist. There are barely one-hundred thousand EV's and PHEV's in the US, and even fewer natural gas cars. Having 300 million gas cars run just 10% ethanol, is the equivalent of replacing nearly 25 Million gas cars with EV's and natural gas cars! That is 250 TIMES as many miles driven each year ultimately powered by electricity and natural gas via ethanol compared to all the EV's and NG cars currently on the road!! Can anyone honestly claim that has zero environmental advantage? I love EV's, and I can see the logic for natural gas large trucks. But even the most optimistic EV fans will admit it is going to be a long, long time before we have 25 million EV's and natural gas vehicles on the road. Meanwhile, it would be utterly foolish to stop burning ethanol that is acting as our only way to use electricity and natural gas in the 300+ million gas cars already driving our roads.
        Marcopolo
        • 1 Year Ago
        @raktmn
        @ raktmn I read your post three times just to make sure I didn't misunderstand you. But, just to be fair, I took the time to read your cited sources. 1 ) http://www.oregon.gov/energy/RENEW/Biomass/docs/FORUM/aer-814.pdf This is an old 2002 report based on information collected in the 1990's and even earlier ! 2 ) http://www.usda.gov/oce/reports/energy/2008Ethanol_June_final.pdf This report dates from 2005-8, containing an assessment based oninformation supplied by the ethanol industry. But none of this is relevant in 2014 ! What's relevant, is the enormous body of scientific evidence that has established beyond reasonable doubt, the environmental havoc being wrought by US corn-based ethanol production. Advocating the use of a more environmentally harmful fuel, just to avoid using gasoline is just plain crazy ! Having 10% of cars in the US running on corn-ethanol, is far more harmful to the environment than if those cars ran on gasoline or diesel. (it's certainly more harmful than CNG/LPG). In my previous post, I cited three current articles, from three pro-environment publications, each recognising the need to end the corn-ethanol mandate. I could cite 100 such scientific studies published in the last 2 years, from widely diverse sources, calling for the end of corn ethanol. It takes a lot for newspapers as diverse as the Economist and Guardian to agree with Al Gore and the API. The Sierra Club, Friends of the Earth, IEA, EPA, DOE, UN, WHO, IMF, World Hunger Appeal, American Organic Assoc, American Farm Bureau Federation, Biodynamic Farming and Gardening Association, Environmental Advocates, Motoring Associations, Auto-makers, Organization of American States, Freedom From Hunger, Oxfam, Scientists from over 200 Universities, and hundreds more.. All of these diverse people and organisations, are calling for an end to corn-based ethanol, are they all wrong ? This is the growing tide that will sweep away the corn-ethanol producers mandate. Why not just end the mandate, and let the consumer decide ?
          raktmn
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Marcopolo
          Concern Troll says What? All of those green organizations are strong proponents of 2nd generation biofuels to power our ICE vehicles while we transtion to EV's and other green cars. So am I. We just disagree about the transition timeline, and the role of corn ethanol in that transition. You don't even support 2nd generation biofuels, and you hate the same govt intervention these green groups support in order to put govt cash towards getting more green cars on the streets. So come back and whine only after you yourself actually agree with these group's positions calling for gov't action to put more EV's on the road faster, and to do the same with 2nd generation biofuels. Auto makers hate everything new. If they had their way we would still be driving 10 mpg smoking boats with no seat belts, no air bags, no safety glass, and no emissions equipment. They can screw.
          raktmn
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Marcopolo
          Oh, and if you think my numbers are wrong just because all the decisive work to calculate these numbers was already complete a decade ago, have the balls to actually produce other numbers to contradict them. Don't just intellectually dishonestly stand by your incorrect reading of your quote you failed to even source. The only stuff out there to contradict what I posted are even older 1990's studies by Pimental that have been widely and decisively debunked. I can provide newer numbers if you are willing to honestly and intellectually discuss them. But you won't like the results. Because ethanol efficiency has actually IMPROVED at a rate of about 4% every 5 years over the last 2 decades with more efficient distilleries, and the use of more solar, wind, and geothermal energy (not to mention cleaner electricity coming from the grid). Newer numbers show a 2.3 ROI on ethanol, compared to the old long accepted 1.3 to 1.6 ROI numbers from the studies I posted. I intentionally used the older studies specifically to avoid rehashing the ROI debate.
      Marcopolo
      • 1 Year Ago
      Each time an article about ethanol appears on ABG, everyone, including Sebastian, tip-toes around the elephant in the room ! The US mandated use of corn-ethanol is more environmentally harmful than the fossil fuels it was supposed to replace ! It's regrettable, because the US corn-based ethanol industry was created with the best of intentions 40 years ago, but like most industries created by governments, it's proved to be an economic and environmental disaster. The entire industry is propped up by a long obsolete mandate, and supported only by farm belt politicians, professional RFA lobbyists, Big Ag, and a few die-hard fanatics, who can't admit they're wrong. For the sake of these obsolete industry, the whole US ( and many other nations, including some of the poorest ), have to suffer the environmental and economic ravages of corn-ethanol. Hopefully, 2014 will see enough momentum on capital hill to abolish this disastrous mandate. End the ethanol Mandate now ! http://www.cnbc.com/id/101297359 [Ethanol loses friends and influence as reform movement grows] http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1089380_could-congress-kill-ethanol-mandate-altogether-in-2014 http://www.lancastereaglegazette.com/article/20131225/OPINION04/312250009?nclick_check=1 [Ethanol use driving up gas prices]
        Electron
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Marcopolo
        That's our marcopolo, 24/7 ready to support big oil in its war on ethanol!
          Marcopolo
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Electron
          @ EZEE2 (Ignore Electron, he's like one of those malevolent gnomes, always hovering at the edge,under one guise or another.) As usual, he's in error. The debate has nothing to do with ethanol as an alternate fuel, but about using corn (and derivatives) as feedstock. Australia produces ethanol as an oxygenate for gasoline, from surplus sugar cane. This was a conservative government initiative, and received by partisan support. The process have been the subject of the most vigorous environmental studies, from both Australian and international scientific organisations. When the industry began, the idea was to use surplus sugar cane, sorghum and grain, to produce ethanol as a method of maintaining prices, and avoiding waste. The federal government imposed a tariff on imported ethanol, and removed fuel excise levies from domestic production. In Queensland, and NSW ethanol blended gasoline can be purchased, at a discount to gasoline. The original regulations made the use of ethanol purely voluntary, and at the consumers discretion. I was one of a number of early investors, who helped create this industry. The problems began when, the ethanol producers began to make big money. Ethanol became big business and the incoming Leftist-Labour/Green government(s) tried to ramp up production. Suddenly, they learned a savage lesson, the government had created a monster, and forgotten the uncertainty of agriculture. Australia suffered two seasons of hurricanes, effectively destroying local sugar cane production, followed by 9 years of drought. At the same time, Australia's biggest competitors Mauritius, Fiji, Brazil etc, were experiencing unprecedented bountiful crops. Originally this wouldn't have been a problem for an industry designed to basically sell oxygenate. Under the original plan, production of blended fuel sales beyond the small supply of oxygenate, would have been suspended. But of course, a combination of over ambitious politics and the lure of big money in a boom time, led to the absurd situation where Australia started to import expensive ethanol, to maintain an inefficient industry . (sound familiar). This is what happens when governments, attempt to socially engineer industries. http://www.theglobalmail.org/feature/priming-australias-ethanol-pump/49/
          Electron
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Electron
          I think I'm misunderstood: of course I consider it an honour to be goose stepping behind "marcopolo" in his noble war against American farmers trying to boost their income by cutting in on the market for automotive fuels that rightfully belongs to the oil industry. Sign his petition and when the farmers see the value of their crops wiped out , oil industry its stock value soaring and billions of extra dollars go abroad to all sorts of very friendly regimes than we can all rest assured knowing that justice has been restored in the land.
          raktmn
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Electron
          2EZEE - Here is the energy loss for MTBE, which used to be used instead of ethanol: "there is a net energy loss in the production of gasoline of between 19 and 20 percent for gasoline. The net energy loss for MTBE is about 33 percent. " This should give you a good comparison for what the relative cost of additives refined out of the same base as gasoline. The additives would be more expensive than the gas, raising the price compared to ethanol, which is cheaper than the gas.
          EZEE2
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Electron
          His citations are from left wing/green websites. I am not saying he is right or wrong (I was too lazy to click on them), but there are some legitimate arguments against ethanol. If you support ethanol, why not counter his argument. Rak, above, mentioned ethanol as an octane booster and says it is cheaper. I guess I would ask, is it cheaper without subsidies than naphtha? I truly have no horse in this game, but saying 'big oil' doesn't mean you win the argument.
          raktmn
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Electron
          2EZEE - Today's trading on ethanol commodity is 2.37, with gasoline trading at 2.79, and diesel/heating oil trading at 3.02. No other octane additives are traded as commodities, but all of the ones currently created at refineries are created by taking the same base that gas and diesel come from, and using more energy/electricity/water to create less volume of product than gas or diesel. Since these are not sold in the open market, it is impossible to say how much they cost. But it is logical to conclude that anything that takes more refining to produce less product out of the same base, will cost more than the gas or diesel that take less refining and less base to create a larger volume. At the same time, ethanol trades for less than either gas or diesel, making the conclusion about ethanol being cheapest fairly elementary. I'd say ask your local refiner, but they are not required by law to even disclose what they use as an octane additive, much less how much it costs them.
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