The rapid push for E15 conventional gas is a foolish plan, which will only benefit (profit) ethanol producers, while causing increased risk of gasoline-caused engine damage, water-contamination and decreased mpg for consumers.
E15 Waiver 2009-10 Background: In April 2009, Growth Energy, ACE -American Coalition for Ethanol, and 54 ethanol producers completed submission of a formal request to the EPA for increase of E10 to E15. Deadline to respond was July 20th,2009. Probably due to lack of public input, the EPA foolishly approved E15 Oct. 2010, and has held back distribution due to several obstacles and legal details:
EPA website states, "As of November 7, 2011, E15 is not registered with EPA and is therefore not legal for distribution or sale as a transportation fuel...There are a number of additional factors including requirements under other federal, state, and local laws that may also affect the distribution of E15. The granting of the partial waivers (see below) is only one of several requirements for registration..."
Title: "Notice of Receipt of a Clean Air Act Waiver Application To Increase the Allowable Ethanol Content of Gasoline to 15 Percent; Request for Comment".
E15 makes less sense than E10, which has already caused too many unnecessary engine damage and increased gas consumption and cost. Not all gas powered engines are designed for alcohol fuel blends. Both E10 and E15 do nothing to decrease petroleum consumption. E85 makes sense (used only in flex-fuel "green" cars). But sneaking more ethanol into conventional fuel seems unlawful. Damage caused by E15 will not be covered by engine warranties since all manufacturers allow only up to 10% (E10).
When used as a gas or additive (oxygenator) ethanol is subsidized by our state and federal government.
The taxpayer funded support of ethanol (subsidies, tax credits), with concommittant decrease in mpg and efficiency for ethanol blends, (without lower pricing) is just one more slap in the face to your average, strugggling American consumer.
The water-absorbing properties and solvent effects of ethanol (gas contamination & engine breakdown) will once again hit the marine engine and older vehicle owners the hardest, as we've seen with with widespread distribution of E10 in recent years.
*Those organizations and companies who support ethanol seem mainly driven by profit and greed; Those who are against ethanol, often base their arguments on decades of factual and reputable studies that demonstrate alcohol's negative effects to engines and gasoline stability, higher cost of gas for consumers, and unnecessary government-funded ethanol incentives and tax credits.
American Coalition for Ethanol was established in 1988 solely to be a "spokesperson for the ethanol industry". They refuse to address or educate the public on precautions necessary with ethanol-blends and THEY state on their website that they want YOU to "Get Involved" by "Voting and donating money to candidates who support ethanol" and ...
040614-042309: E15 Gas Approved post Petition Against E15.
Know the Facts on Ethanol Gas and Renewable Fuels
"If you are going to believe, know why you believe and back it up with something..."
2014 Update: E15 Gasoline Waiver Approved
WARNING: E15 is now being sold in 12 states. (As of Jan. 2014)
Currently, there are (only) about 59 gas stations in 12 states (legally) selling E15 fuel:
Source: Renewable Fuels Association Jan. 9, 2014. http://ethanolrfa.3cdn.net/c26a67a2adf1e362af_tzm6iisso.pdf
WARNING: Only a handful of engine manufacturers approve of new E15 fuel, (for use in a few 2013-14 autos only). Therefore if your engine is not a FFV, most likely E15 gas is NOT approved for use in your engines, and will invalidate your warranty.
E15 is an unstable fuel type that can hold more water, has lower energy which reduces MPG, and can rapidly wear-down engine's parts.
*ALL ENGINE MANUFACTURERS STILL ONLY APPROVE & WARRANTY E10=UP TO 10%
(ONLY e85 COMPATIBLE FLEX-FUEL VEHICLES ARE MANUFACTURER-APPROVED FOR USE OF NEW E15 FUEL TYPE).
The EPA issued a plan to mitigate engine damage from E15 mis-fueling. View here: http://www.epa.gov/OMS/regs/fuels/additive/e15/e15-mmp.htm
Background: On 10/15/10 the EPA issued a (partial) decision which approved the sale of this new gas type (E15), that will contain 15% ethanol; 50% more than allowed by all conventional engine manufacturers!
After E15 approval, several class action lawsuits were filed against the EPA. Unfortunately in August 2012, a federal appeals court dismissed the lawsuit brought by oil, auto and food industries against the U.S. EPAfor its approval of E15.
Plaintiffs included, American Petroleum Institute, Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers,
National Marine Manufacturers Association, Outdoor Power Equipment Institute,
National Petrochemical & Refiners Association, and others.
The EPA ONLY approved E15, For Use in 2001 and Newer AUTOS.
E15 is not approved for use in boats, lawn equipment, and all other specialty (non-auto) engines.
* Check your Owners Manual & Warranty Statement Before Considering Purchase of E15:
Fortunately high quality gas stations are reluctant to sell this new E15 fuel due to misfueling issues, potential damage to equipment, water absorption issues and more. See warnings/conditions in E15 Retailer Handbook, published 2012 by RFA (Renewable Fuels Association): http://ethanolrfa.3cdn.net/d7f6b590dcc0254053_nam62w7f1.pdf
In the past, many have unknowingly purchased E10 fuel type illegally over-blended above 10% --> E15, E20, E25 etc.
Autos can usually tolerate more ethanol with only a drop in MPG, but most other engine types will experience a rapid increase in water absorption, leading to phase-separation and engine damage much sooner.
- ONLY TESTING GAS AT THE PUMP, CAN GUARANTEE ETHANOL CONTENT IS BELOW 10% -
AFPM Applauds Bill to Reverse EPA’s Illegal Approval of E15
2013: The American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM) applauds Senators Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) and David Vitter (R-La.) for taking steps to reverse the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) illegal decision to allow E15 into the fuel supply even though this fuel damages existing vehicles. The proposed legislation, if passed by Congress, will set a cap of 10 percent ethanol (E10) that is approved for use in the nation’s gasoline supply.
“The fact that EPA would allow a fuel in the marketplace that it knows will threaten existing engines and refueling infrastructure is inconceivable and is a glaring example of EPA’s willingness to place politics ahead of science,” said AFPM President Charles T. Drevna.
The EPA has written a complex set of conditions intended to mitigate engine damage (misfueling) from new E15 fuel type.
E15 Retailer Handbook - June 2012 -46 page guideline prepared by the Renewable Fuels Association that describes the complex preparation, conditions and regulations retailers must adhere to be able to sell E15 safely. See pgs. 15-21 for equipment compatability; UST systems and above ground equipment may not be UL listed for E15 -E.G.E15 is not compatible with these materials: Silicone Rubber, Polyurethane, Neoprene...
"EPA's new 4-gallon gas rule sparks debate" JSOnline Journal Sentinel, Sept. 18, 2012
Excerpt: "...Without the rule, a motorcyclist who followed an E15 customer at the pump, but who only purchased two gallons of E10, could receive enough residual E15 from the hose and nozzle to violate an engine warranty and possibly cause engine problems..." LINK: http://www.jsonline.com/business/4gallon-gas-rule-sparks-debate-b86tmno-170272246.html
"Warranties void on cars burning E15, say automakers" Consumer Reports, July 7, 2011
Excerpts: "The new orange label displays 'E15' in large type and states that the fuel is for use only in 2001 or newer model-year vehicles or flex-fuel vehicles, and that it is illegal to use it in other vehicles or in power equipment such as lawnmowers. In response to the release of the labels, nine automakers-including Chrysler, General Motors, and Toyota wasted no time writing letters to Congress criticizing the proposal and noting that they will not honor warranties for older cars running on E15. The automakers say they are concerned about the effects of E15 on engines, fuel pumps, and other fuel-system components in cars that were not designed for it..."
Mercury Marine releases study October 2011- A blend of 15 percent ethanol and gasoline caused so much damage to boat engines during a government-funded study that the testing of two of three motor types ended early.
http://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy12osti/52909.pdf "High Ethanol Fuel Endurance: A Study of the Effects of Running Gasoline with 15% Ethanol Concentration in Current Production Outboard Four-Stroke Engines and Conventional Two-Stroke Outboard Marine Engines, June 16, 2010 – June 30, 2011".
"Effective July 1, Iowa retailers are eligible for a three cent per gallon tax credit for every gallon of E15 sold..."
"Oil, food groups file second round of E15 lawsuits" Ethanol Producer Magazine, March 15th, 2011 LINK: http://www.ethanolproducer.com/articles/7603/oil-food-groups-file-second-round-of-e15-lawsuits
Sensenbrenner Leads Bipartisan Letter: 33 House Members Insist EPA Delay E15
The letter insists that the EPA delay registration of E15 until adequate testing is conducted to show the fuel will not damage engines or lead to mis-fueling. "Washington, Nov 17 2011- Congressman Sensenbrenner, Vice Chair of the House Committee on Science, lead a bipartisan group of 33 House Members in sending a letter to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson. Link: http://sensenbrenner.house.gov/News/DocumentPrint.aspx?DocumentID=269445
E15 In The News (Older News-Pre-2010)...
"Higher Ethanol Blends Present Many Changes" 03/11/2009 by Gary Truitt, Hoosier AG Today
Read full article at: http://www.hoosieragtoday.com/wire/news/02285_blend_wall_172550.php
"OPEI concerned over E15 fuel issue" 03/09/2009 by Landscape Management/OPEI
Excerpt, "The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI) has serious concerns with a premature rush to 15 percent ethanol (E15) or other mid-level fuel blends as being suggested by pro-ethanol producers.
Read full article at: http://www.opei.org/ht/d/Articles/pid/187
Not a single engine manufacturer currently approves of gas that contains over 10% alcohol.
An increase of 5% ethanol (E15) will increase the instability of gasoline, with a much greater risk for water contamination.
Water and oil don't mix -Ethanol attracts and absorbs water, causing premature phase separation of gasoline.
Since ethanol is also a strong solvent (and degreaser), standard engines and petroleum equipment will experience greater wear-down of parts and useful life of engine/equipment. View engine damage list.
E15 will further reduce mpg and increase gasoline cost for all consumers.
The EPA has NOT yet performed testing on all gas-powered engines to determine if E15 is safe for use. Trusting a few, very limited studies completed by the ethanol producers is unacceptable! Decades of research support over 10% ethanol blends of fuel are not appropriate for most engines.
Approving E15 now, in anticipation of future vehicles designed and approved to run on higher blends, will simply cause more confusion at the gas pumps.
E15 only benefits ethanol producers. The U.S. needs to reconsider government sponsored "ethanol subsidies and grants" - An appropriate petroleum replacement for the long term must be able to survive the market on it's own.
To meet increasing government quotas and mandates for ethanol, non-farm sources need to be ready (and cost effective) in the market. The U.S. does not have enough corn, grains and farmland to meet increasing ethanol quotas. Non-farm sources include ethanol made from cellulose, garbage, grass and other stock that does not compete with food.
We believe there are many other sources of alternative energy on the horizon that will surpass ethanol's usefullness. Our government tax dollars would be better spent in advancing these technologies - E.G. Hydro, wind and solar power, electric vehicles, etc.
If you wish to support ethanol, E85 (85% ethanol content) used only in a FFV (Flex Fuel Vehicles) makes much more sense.
Worth Quoting: "Sadly, EPA abandoned its true mission and became both the Environmental Politics Agency and the Ethanol Promotion Agency. " Charles T. Drevna, president of NPRA, the National Petrochemical & Refiners Association in Article: Is the EPA protecting you or the ethanol lobby?
Fuel-Testers Comments on "E15 Misfueling Mitigation Plan":
Delays, lawsuits, changes, restrictions, research studies documenting engine damage and more, only reinforces how foolish it was for the EPA to approve of this "new" E15 fuel type for use in conventional engines.
All they've accomplished is to convince many more that ethanol in gas has become a big government-funded and subsidized scam aimed solely to profit ethanol companies and producers.
With E85 (flex fuel) in the market for >10 years, there was no valid reason to introduce E15 other than to sneak more ethanol into conventional gasoline at the expense of all engine owners.
Engine manufacturers do NOT approve/warranty E15 fuel use, and it's certain many will "misfuel" especially when enticed by a lower price/gallon.