Many, many moons ago, members of the ethanol industry asked the US EPA to consider raising the blend level of ethanol to gasoline from 10 percent (the current level) to 15 percent.
While the industry waits for an answer (the US EPA might provide a final verdict later this month), bits and pieces of the research the Department of Energy is conducting have made their way out. That research is focused on 2001 model years and newer, but the ethanol industry feels that 15 percent ethanol blends are safe for older vehicles too.
Now, research released today from Ricardo indicates that fuel systems of older cars would not be adversely affected, giving the US EPA absolutely no scientific reason to approve E15 for only 2001 model year cars and newer.
In researcher speak, “The analysis concluded that the adoption and use of E15 would not adversely affect fuel system components in properly engineered vehicles, nor would it cause them to perform in a sub-optimal manner, when compared to the use of E10.”
This is big news for the industry. Still, recent activities in the US EPA indicate that data simply clouds the pathway to bureaucratic agenda. The final verdict remains to be seen.
In other ethanol news, the Renewable Fuels Association has a new ethanol ad running in Washington, DC this week, aimed at reminding legislators about the job growth potential increased ethanol usage presents.
Illinois corn farmers wait and see. Will this valuable, expanding market for their product be allowed access to the US market or will we continue to export cheap ethanol and import expensive oil at the expense of our American economy and national security?
ICGA/ICMB Ethanol Expert