EPA Approves E15 Fuel For Sale

by Cornelius Nunev

Gasoline everywhere is officially a blend called E10, 10 percent of which is ethanol, basically 100 percent corn liquor. The next step up in blends, E15, which has 15 percent ethanol, has been approved by the Environmental Protection Agency for sale at fuel stations around the country. There is some controversy over it, as many in the auto industry consider it hazardous for use.

New expectation in ethanol

For quite a while, ethanol and gas have been mixed together as an alternative fuel for automobiles. Ethanol is produced from corn and is basically moonshine. In fact, ethanol is a chemical name for alcohol.

At a typical gas station, you will find E10. This standard blend consists of 90 percent fuel and 10 percent ethanol. According to USA Today, you can use the ethanol since the octane rating is high.

AutoBlog explained that the Environmental Protection Agency just approved an E15 mixture for sale at gasoline stations. This mixture includes 15 percent ethanol and 85 percent fuel.

Very questionable

USA Today explained that ethanol is more corrosive than gas and attracts moisture, which is one thing that auto industry experts are concerned about. It may not be secure to use E15 like it is with E10.

A study was done by the FEV at the behest of the Coordinating Research Council that found the problem that was probably to come from the E15 damage was piston valve and valve seats that need replacing. That can cost over $2,000 or more to fix. The damage was done to the valves also as increasing misfires and increasing emissions. The study was done on the most popular cars and saw there was less fuel economy.

AutoBlog explained that the E15 is harmful to a ton of motors, such as motorcycles, lawn mowers, chainsaws and even marine motors, according to a study done by the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute.

The EPA studies have found no problems with the E15 in engines, according to Growth Energy, and USA Today explains that NASCAR stock vehicles use E15 all the time.

A ton of time needed

When you have a vehicle that is older than model year 2001, you need to not use E15 because it was not authorized by the EPA for those years, according to AutoBlog.

The Minnesota Star-Tribune points out that E10 took a while to start showing up at gas stations even though hit was introduced in the 1970s. it is expected that E15 will take a while to start showing up as well. It is unknown when gasoline stations will start providing it.

There are some fuel-flex automobiles out there that have fuel-injection and motor component systems that are different and allow for different fuels. A ton of automakers, such as Ford and Toyota, have been putting placards on fuel filler caps saying that E15 should never be used. These automakers have been concerned about E15 for a few years now.

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