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The fight over E15 is not over yet

The Environmental Protection Agency has given the approval for retailers to sell 15% ethanol blended fuel. The fuel we purchase at most gas stations around the country today already has 10% ethanol mixed in. The EPA and other supporters of the plan have wanted to add an additional 5% ethanol to the fuel mix for cars built after 2001.
 
"Today, the last significant federal hurdle has been cleared to allow consumers to buy fuel containing up to 15 percent ethanol (E15)," said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. "This gets us one step closer to giving the American consumer a real choice at the pump. The public has a right to choose between imported oil and home-grown energy and today’s action by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) advances that goal."
 
The goal of the plan is to help reduce the dependence on foreign oil by using ethanol derived from corn.
 
“In the eyes of the federal government, E15 is a legal fuel for sale to cars, pickups, and SUVs made since 2001,” said RFA President and CEO Bob Dinneen. “With all i’s dotted and t’s crossed as far as EPA is concerned, our undivided focus will turn to addressing state regulatory issues, identifying retailers wishing to offer E15, and paving the way to greater use of domestically produced ethanol."
 
There are still other issues that have to be overcome before E15 makes it to pumps. These issues include pending litigation and threats from Washington. The U.S. House of Representatives has previously threatened to block the EPA's plans to force E15 sales at stations around the country. Many still argue that the use of E15 could cause millions of dollars in damage to engines in vehicles around the country.
 
One of the organizations opposing the rollout of E15 is the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute or OPEI. According to OPEI, government tests show that E15 is harmful to outdoor power equipment, boats, marine engines, and other non-road engine products. Adding an additional option at the pump could confuse consumers leading to misfueling and damage of engines according to OPEI.
 
"For the first time in American history, fuel used for some automobiles may no longer safe for any non-road products. It may, in fact, destroy or damage generators, chain saws, utility vehicles, lawn mowers, boats and marine engines, snowmobiles, motorcycles, ATVs, and more," says Kris Kiser, President and CEO of the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute, one of the industry groups who have been sending warnings to the federal government about E15.
 
Keiser added, "[The] EPA purports to educate tens of millions of Americans using hundreds of millions of engine products, asserting it will educate these users with a 3 inch by 3 inch pump label. It's frighteningly inadequate."
 
Some major automakers also argue E15 could harm engines in cars and trucks as well.

Sources: Autoblog, Wisconsin Ag Connection



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RE: retarded
By Samus on 6/19/2012 11:30:13 AM , Rating: -1
MPG's will fall <2% going from E10 to E15.

Where is a non-auto industry-funded study showing E15 have a 'great risk of premature fuel system failure?' I'm sure we'd all love to read it. In many cases, injectors and fuel filters last longer with ethanol fuels due to its natural cleaning agent, alcohol, cleaning metalic parts. Anything that was sensitive to E10 won't be sensitive to E15. Anything compatible with E10 will be compatible with E15. It simply isn't enough of a chemical change to create a problem. Most modern fuel injection systems (since the 80's) use viton rubber throughout and with regular fuel system maintence (filter change, injector flow-benching/cleaning) most cars can run E85 with a ECU flash containing appropriate fuel maps. Yes, they will lose economy, because most engines don't take advantage of the higher octane. There are ways to match and exceed even pure-petrol fuel using E85 if an engine has high compression, forced induction and a tuned fuel program.

Since this is where the EPA sees us headed (with every manufacture now shipping turbocharged vehicles) perhaps they are simply providing the fuel as an incentive to make more efficient engines that take advantage of it.

And just as a reference, all octane boosters, fuel system cleaners, and additives, contain a great deal of alcohol, and many people pour that stuff into their tanks usually to resolve, not create, a problem.


RE: retarded
By FITCamaro on 6/19/2012 11:41:48 AM , Rating: 4
The fuel additive argument is bogus because they're not running it all the time. And that little can compared to a 10-15-20 gallon tank doesn't even come close to 10% of the total volume.


RE: retarded
By 91TTZ on 6/19/2012 11:52:46 AM , Rating: 5
quote:
In many cases, injectors and fuel filters last longer with ethanol fuels due to its natural cleaning agent, alcohol, cleaning metalic parts.


Why would it last longer with alcohol? Gasoline is a very good cleaning agent also, and it seems to prevent corrosion of parts bathed in it.

quote:
There are ways to match and exceed even pure-petrol fuel using E85 if an engine has high compression, forced induction and a tuned fuel program.


While I'm sure you can optimize an engine to get the most out of ethanol vs. gasoline, the simple fundamental fact is that ethanol contains less energy than gasoline. Since the fuel source contains less energy is going to be on the losing side of that fight.


RE: retarded
By geddarkstorm on 6/19/2012 1:15:03 PM , Rating: 4
Err, actually, ethanol is -corrosive- to metal.

quote:
Corrosion: because the alcohol in ethanol corrodes aluminum, FFV components are made of stainless steel and E85 pumps must be modified or manufactured with stainless steel to prevent corrosion. Repeated exposure to E85 also corrodes the metal and rubber parts in older engines (pre-1988) designed primarily for gasoline.
http://www.seco.cpa.state.tx.us/re_ethanol.htm

At 15% ethanol, you are already melting aluminum metal, rubber, and most plastics. At higher amounts of ethanol, you'll even corrode steel. And it gets worst:

quote:
Ethanol at temperatures up to 200 °F (93 °C) is corrosive to nearly all the known engineering materials.


If you want to learn more about the corrosive nature of ethanol, read http://www.gie.com/about_us/images_for_the_news/Ra... .

But no, ethanol is -nasty- stuff to metals, rubbers, and plastics. Isopropanol on the other hand is usually safe to store stainless steel and rubbers in. But ethanol will just eat through anything. Some of that is because of the trace amounts of acetic acid that ethanol always contains, and which can't be fully separated from it.


RE: retarded
By NovoRei on 6/19/12, Rating: -1
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