It's clear that the Obama Administration is a strong supporter of increasing the amount of ethanol used in American vehicles. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has come out in favor of upping the standard blend in everyday "gasoline" from E10 to E15 or even E20 over the next few years (Of course, Energy Secretary Steven "corn is not the right crop for biofuels" Chu has other ideas). Whatever the case in the political realm, there's still an engineering question about what gasonline made up of 20 percent ethanol does to an engine over the long term. The Minnesota Center for Automotive Research says: nothing harmful.
The Center, which operates out of Minnesota State University, Mankato, just released a study that found an E20 blend "causes no significant change in performance of automotive fuel systems." This study, the fourth E20 project the Center has conducted, was all about the fuel pumps and sending units. Eight models of fuel pumps were run for 4,000 models on three different fuels (pure gasoline, E10 and E20). Here's the takeaway point:
The study found that the pumps showed significantly less wear when tested with E20 than with gasoline. The study concluded that overall, E20 did not have any greater negative effects than gasoline or E10 on the fuel pumps tested. It also showed there were no substantial differences in the performance of the sending units tested in the three different fuels.
The study was supported by the Renewable Fuels Association, Minnesota Corn Growers Association, and the Minnesota Department of Agriculture. Read the whole thing in PDF.

[Source: MDA via Domestic Fuel]

Share This Photo X