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More ethanol coming to pumps near you
New blend will work in any vehicle built back to 2001

The EPA is set to finalize use of a new ethanol/gasoline that might be in pumps at your local station this summer.

The current 10% blend will be replaced by a 15% blend that is expected to be available in time for the heavy summer driving season. The EPA approved the raising of the ethanol content to 15% in January -- corn farmers and the ethanol industry understandably welcomed the ruling.

EPA administrator Lisa Jackson told the Senate Agriculture Committee during a hearing, "We are now in the process of completing a rule that will establish national labeling. We expect to issue a final rule in the next few months." The labeling will help protect the consumer from using the new fuel in an unapproved engine.

The EPA will officially register E15 this spring, which is a requirement before the fuel can be sold at the pump. The agency has also recently received the emissions and health information to support the registration and is currently reviewing that information.

Not everyone is behind the plan to raise ethanol content in gasoline through. Critics say that using more corn for fuel will drive already high corn process up to even higher levels. Ethanol trade group Growth Energy notes that more ethanol will help people fighting fuel prices at the pump. Growth Energy CEO Tom Buis said, "Lifting the regulatory barriers preventing higher blends of U.S.-made ethanol from getting into the pump would start to push gas prices down right away."

The new E15 fuel can be used in all vehicles built since 2001. That means that 74% of all gasoline burning vehicles on the road will be able to use the new fuel accounting for 85% of gasoline demand. 

UPDATED: Justin Starkey, owner of VMP Tuning, had this to say about the new 15% ethanol blend and what it means for fuel economy and auto enthusiasts:

It basically hurts everyone… 

Fuel economy goes down, because of the lower energy content in the ethanol.

If you have a turbocharged or supercharge vehicle with high fuel demands at WOT, it will push your injector and fuel pump duty cycles higher.

Having more ethanol in the gas makes tuning cars more difficult and more inconsistent.  The ethanol level in the gasonline is not always held at a full 15%.  It can be all over the place from one fillup to the next.  If your car is tuned with a wideband while running 15% ethanol, and then you run fuel with no ethanol in it, you’re air to fuel ratio can shift over a point richer. This is huge from a tuning standpoint in terms of power and efficiency.  The OEMs have realized this and most 2011+ Fords including the Mustang GT and Shelby GT500 use widebands from the factory.  These vehicles are closed loop at WOT (wide open throttle) and are constantly correcting air/fuel ratio at all operating conditions.  The PCM keeps the actual A/F and the commanded A/F the same, this is great for performance, efficiency, reliability, and safety.



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RE: What About Y2K and Older Cars
By YashBudini on 3/14/2011 9:50:52 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Nothing says eco friendly like hundred of pounds of batteries made of completely non-renewable rare earth metals.

Which are recharged by electricity from coal. YEEHAW!


RE: What About Y2K and Older Cars
By ddopson on 3/14/2011 10:52:13 PM , Rating: 2
This is a common misconception.

While coal is a "dirtier" fuel than natural gas or even oil, a large-scale coal power plant is extremely efficient at extracting energy from the fuel source -- far more efficient than a small internal combustion engine required to operate across a wide range of torque, RPM, and temperature ranges. Even after transmission losses, conversion losses, and everything else required to get that electrical energy to the wheels, a coal powered PHEV is much more efficient than a gasoline powered engine -- fewer $ of electricity vs $ of gas, fewer tonnes of CO2 emitted, and smaller concentrations of most other pollutants.

If your electricity is backed by Nuclear or a renewable source, so much the better. However, even dirty coal electricity is a cleaner, greener fuel than a gasoline powered engine.

Crazy, right? So why don't we all use electricity? - power density and energy density. ie, batteries. It's hard to build a good battery. It's easy to build a fuel tank. Eventually, odds are that we will run the vast majority of transport vehicles on electricity. In the meantime, don't let some treehugger tell you you are a bad person for using a nice cheap efficient old school car. My 97 Camry will continue running for years to come.


By YashBudini on 3/15/2011 2:02:07 PM , Rating: 2
All those that want the next coal plant built in this guy's backyard raise your hands.


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