Ethanol producers lobby to raise blending percentage

Facing a glut of ethanol and few buyers, Growth Energy, an organization that represents several ethanol producers, petitioned the Environmental Protection Agency to increase the amount of ethanol that can be blended into gasoline, according to an article

A gas station attendant fuels a flex fuel vehicle with E-85.
A gas station attendant fuels a flex fuel vehicle with E-85. GM

Facing a glut of ethanol and few buyers, Growth Energy, an organization that represents several ethanol producers, petitioned the Environmental Protection Agency to increase the amount of ethanol that can be blended into gasoline, according to an article U.S. News and World Report.

The current blending limit is 10 percent, and ethanol advocates are asking the EPA to allow blends up to 15 percent. The EPA has 270 days to respond to the request.

But automakers are pushing back, arguing that further study is needed to understand how engines will perform at a higher blend. High concentrations of ethanol corrode engine materials over time.

Flex-fuel vehicles that take E85 fuel--a blend of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline--have power train and fuel delivery systems specially designed for the higher concentration of the alternative fuel.

Automakers need to hurry their studies if the U.S. will meet its mandate of requiring refiners to use 36 billion gallons of ethanol by 2022, according to an article in the Washington Post. At the current 10 percent blending level, refiners are able to use only 14 billion gallons of ethanol a year based on current consumption.

(Source: U.S. News and World Report)

About the author

Liane Yvkoff is a freelance writer who blogs about cars for CNET Car Tech. E-mail Liane.

 

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