By on November 30, 2012

The AAA asked the U.S. government to prohibit the sale of E15. Only about 5 percent of the 240 million light duty vehicles on U.S. roads today are approved by manufacturers to run on the gasoline that contains 15 percent alcohol, and the other 95 percent could be ruined by the wicked fuel, says the AAA. The industry agrees.

The EPA approved E15 in 2011 for cars and light trucks made since model year 2000, triggering protests from auto-makers, service station owners and oil refiners who fear it may damage older engines. Their biggest fear: Legal action from motorists.

“AAA is urging regulators and the industry to stop the sale of E15 until motorists are better protected,” AAA said in a statement. “Unsuspecting consumers using E15 could end up with engine problems that might not be covered by their vehicles’ warranties.”

According to the AAA, BMW, Chrysler, Nissan, Toyota and Volkswagen have said that their warranties will not cover fuel-related claims caused by the use of E15.

The federal Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS), requires the use of 13.2 billion gallons of ethanol in fuel this year, rising to 15 billion gallons annually from 2015.

Governors of four poultry-raising states this year asked EPA for relief from the mandate, saying the corn crop is too small to use 40 percent of it making biofuels.

In Germany, a widespread buyer strike stopped E10, containing only 10 percent ethanol, in its tracks. The movement has its own Facebook page and broad support from the media.

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69 Comments on “AAA: No More Alcohol For Cars!...”


  • avatar
    harshciygar

    Ugh. Get over it.

    A study from TWO YEARS AGO shows that E15 has no impact on cars dating back 15 years, which represent an overwhelmingly majority of cars on the road.

    http://www.ricardo.com/en-GB/News–Media/Press-releases/News-releases1/2010/Ricardo-research-shows-E15-poses-minimal-risk-to-older-vehicles/

    Furthermore, this move merely allows gas stations the OPTION of selling E15 at specially marked pumps. This doesn’t mean all of the sudden every station will be forced to carry E15…it just gives people the option.

    So frustrating how much time and money is wasted prohibiting people from the option of using a different fuel.

    • 0 avatar
      cwallace

      Most of us have already been prohibited from the option of not using E fuel at all, so the line has to be drawn somewhere.

      • 0 avatar

        I have two jet skis that needed carb rebuilds-brown gunk, the telltale of ethanol gas.

        Since non ethanol isn’t available anywhere, I’ve no choice. I recently went a few states over, and got a precious tank of “real” gas. My car perked right up….

        I was tempted to get a tanker full to bring back. Instead, I buy a lot of “sta-bil” for my generator, jet skis, snowblowers, etc. Ethanol pulls water out of the air and nothing good happens then.

        Ethanol is for drinking, NOT driving.

    • 0 avatar
      stottpie

      wow, it’s amazing how wrong you are on this.

      the EPA is force feeding E10/E15 down our throats for no reason other than corn/ethanol subsidies. it is not economical to use ethanol for fuel. it has a significantly lower energy content than gasoline (<50%). it's also more expensive to produce than the very easily attainable gasoline.

      it's also misleading to say that it's optional. in california already, all gasoline is required to have 10% ethanol.

      • 0 avatar
        A Caving Ape

        I completely agree! I’m kind of “meh” about it on the personal side (my car seems to run fine on 92 octane E10, I once paid like $6.50 a gallon for a tank of ethanol free 93, I think the difference was mainly psychological) but the economics of it make no sense whatsoever. It’s also extremely wasteful and bad for the environment. While ethanol itself may be carbon neutral, producing it certainly isn’t.

    • 0 avatar

      Putting aside the fradulent studies by the corn lobby for a moment, please consider that E15 is definitely going to crowd out the E10, if it’s subsidized as it is. Remember that we’re talking about a mixing MANDATE. They MUST sell a certain amount of alcohol by any means necessary, even dumping it for $0.01/gal. Fat lot of good a properly labeled pump is going to do you if there’s no other pump.

      As for the studies, they do not seem to address things that aren’t cars. I observed the damage E10 does to airplanes first hand. Rubber gaskets turn into goo. They really do. Sure, some “modern” airplanes are E10-proof, like 2008+ CTLS. But that thing costs $135k base! Talk about shifting the costs onto consumers. And once you threw the money on that thing, it’s not E15-proof. Oooh yeah. Taking it in the pants, baby. Thank you, corn lobby.

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        You’ve got it backwards this will drive up prices not lower them. It is on the companies who sell gasoline to blend in a certain amount of alcohol. That means they have to increase their purchase every year and that means the people selling ethanol can pretty much charge what ever they want. In the long run though it makes the oil companies happy as long as purchasing ethanol is not much more than making gasoline. Ethanol is high octane so they get to make lower octane fuel which costs them less, it is a good detergent so they don’t have to put other additives to meet fuel detergency requirements, and finally it means that the average motorist gets less MPG meaning that they will buy more.

    • 0 avatar
      chuckrs

      “A study from TWO YEARS AGO shows that E15 has no impact on cars dating back 15 years, which represent an overwhelmingly majority of cars on the road.”

      A study from RIGHT NOW would show that E10 and E10 are hurting my bank balance, as they are tax-payer subsidized. This is corporate welfare for the ADMs and Cargills of the world. Screw’em. If this is such a good idea, remove the subsidies and see what happens.

    • 0 avatar
      stuart

      Did anybody look at the study?

      Ricardo doesn’t supply much detail; there’s a press release, and a set of slides:

      http://www.ricardo.com/Documents/PRs%20pdf/PRs%202010/FE405%20E15%20Summary%20Presentation%2015Sept10.pdf

      Only three slides focus on detrimental effects of E15. The rest is concerned with whether E15 would cause more emissions due to vapor-pressure effects, whether E15 would hurt catalysts, how they decided what old cars are typical, where Ricardo has offices worldwide, &etc.

      Nowhere do they say “we took a bunch of old cars and drove them X-thousand miles using only E15.” Instead, they dismantled some junk cars and looked at the parts. For example, they show a picture of a rusty gas tank and say “This [gas] tank had an interior coating and does not show internal tank corrosion.”

      Nowhere did they mention using any E15 in their research (!!!). Nowhere did they mention driving any cars. They didn’t even soak some old car parts in E15. Instead, they looked at a bunch of old car parts and said “We don’t think these parts would be harmed by E15. We see no problem here.”

      Maybe they did an outstanding job, but the results they published prove *nothing* about old cars tolerating E15.

      stuart

    • 0 avatar
      George B

      harshciygar, there is no reason that a rational consumer would want E15 fuel. E85 is already available along with vehicles that can use it, but it costs more per mile to use ethanol than gasoline.

      Universities in Minnesota did some experiments to determine the feasibility of using E20 fuel in unmodified cars and trucks.
      http://www.mda.state.mn.us/news/publications/renewable/ethanol/legrpt-ethanol-e20.pdf
      The results were promising, but the sample size of vehicles was fairly small and many makes and models of cars were not tested. However, the economics of corn ethanol are so bad that further study is not needed at this time.

      If ethanol is such a great idea, why not lift the cap on ethanol that can be imported duty-free from the Caribbean Basin Initiative countries? Let sugar cane ethanol into the US market and see if the price is competitive with gasoline. Lift the restrictions now before the 2016 presidential candidates start to pander to Iowa.

      • 0 avatar
        stuart

        The Minnesota study soaked some car parts in E10 and E20, and tried driving some cars fueled with E20.

        They said that most plastics/metals/elastomers were not bothered by E20. But…

        Magnesium AZ 91D and Zamak metals showed measurable mass loss (due to corrosion) that they claimed was “minimal”

        All of the elastomers were affected by their testing, but they deemed the changes “insignificant”

        PVC and PUR plastics deteriorated especially badly, but they claimed that the alcohol-free fuel was just as bad as E20 (their testing was a gasoline soak at 55C/131F).

        The GM TBI (throttle body injection) fuel pump “showed a significant reduction inf flow after exposure to E10 fuel.” (IOW, it failed.)

        ————

        Note that the study *did* find some metals they acknowledged would be destroyed by exposure to E20, and E10 killed one of their fuel pumps. None of the tested cars was older than model year 2000.

        This is a much better study than the Ricardo study. IMHO, they need to test more old cars and they especially need to test more GM TBI vehicles. This study is *not* an exoneration for E20.

        stuart

      • 0 avatar
        NMGOM

        George B…

        I agree.

        Older cars, speciality cars, high-performance cars, some expensive European cars, and antique cars require a pure hydrocarbon fuel. I own two BMW’s, and especially, deliberately drive the 7.2 miles just to get 100% premium gasoline.

        In addition, ethanol, in any ratio with gasoline, is not a good choice for a “biofuel” in anyone’s car. Since I have a degree in surface chemistry and lubrication technology, I can offer some issues:

        1) One of the functions of gasoline is to lubricate the upper piston ring and cool the valves in a fuel-injected engine: ethanol has a much lower heat capacity and poorer lubrication properties. If you can get 150,000 miles out of a gasoline engine, don’t plan on getting anywhere near that with ethanol included, all else equal. Both valves and rings will wear out sooner. (And, of course, vehicle manufacturers would be happy to sell you another car.)

        2) Also, ethanol acts as a “Lewis base” chemically in a hydrocarbon environment: that means it is corrosive with regard to seals. It is also actually hydroscopic, meaning it likes to bond with water and carry it along to cause rusting in fuel lines. Most owners report poorer fuel mileage and less power with ethanol/gasoline blends. Ethanol has only about 1/3 the energy content (per molecule) of pure hydrocarbon gasoline. (If we ever want a naturally grown biofuel, then butanol from fermentation of sea algae is almost perfect, and it behaves nearly identically to gasoline.)

        3) Ethanol blends have also been reported to cause more cold-weather starting problems than pure hydrocarbon gasoline. I think it’s revealing that, even now, some top quality foreign manufacturers (e.g., Mercedes, BMW, and others) actually firmly discourage, if not outright prohibit, any ethanol from being used routinely in their vehicles.

        ——————–

    • 0 avatar
      Dynasty

      “So frustrating how much time and money is wasted prohibiting people from the option of using a different fuel.”

      I absolutely agree with you.

      It totally irks me the only option I have to use an ethanol free fuel is a total of one station in a 50 mile radius.

      Options are great when you actually have them… and aren’t legislated almost completely out of existence.

    • 0 avatar
      mr_min

      Well, Other reports such as the well hidden, Australian Government report tell a different story.
      http://www.environment.gov.au/archive/fuelquality/publications/testing-passenger-fleet/index.html
      If you have time to read all 277 pages, instead of a press release. The actual pictures of the engine parts tell me why I dont use Ethanol blended fuel. In Australia there is little price difference for E10.
      I also don’t agree with the whole food vs fuel debate. So until 2nd & 3rd generation biofuels exist that don’t cause tortilla riots in Mexico, I’m not interested in supporting a lobby group.

  • avatar
    raph

    Hmmmm…. seems to me E15 requires just going to some sort of flex fuel system in order to prevent damage in the long run.

    It seems the anecdotal evidence for the sorts of problems at least comes from the lawn maintenance crowd but there are various snake oils on the market to cover that ( my favorite is Lucas and their E10+ ally fuel treatment).

  • avatar
    morbo

    Can I have the option of 0% ethonal fuel? (in the Northeast, that answer is no) Damn the power robbing, inflation cuasing, global food riot making corn juice.

  • avatar
    retrogrouch

    The question should be “Is E15 significantly more damaging than E10? ” No. E10 does enough damage on its own and is slowly ruining cars and trucks made before 2007.

    We should stop putting food into our gas tanks.

    I would love to put B20 or B100 diesel into a Mazda 6 diesel wagon.

  • avatar
    Beerboy12

    My chief gripe about corn derived fuel is that, that corn could be used as, wait for it, food. There is a food shortage in the world and instead of considering driving more economical cars, we choose to use a food source so that gas can remain cheap and we don’t have to change anything…
    It’s about the most offensive thing I have ever encountered. And now, some people want to increase the content… Shame on them!

    • 0 avatar
      stottpie

      don’t know where you heard that there is a food shortage, but that is laughably false.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        http://www.guardian.co.uk/global-development/2012/oct/14/un-global-food-crisis-warning

        I’m suspicious of anything the UN says too, but don’t tell any starving people about your belief.

      • 0 avatar
        toomanycrayons

        Yeah, they’re choosing to put it in cars. There is no shortage. They must be making all those starving people videos where they did the moon landing, too.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        There is no food shortage. But there are some who suffer from a money shortage that prevents them from accessing adequate food supplies.

      • 0 avatar
        stottpie

        pch101 said it best.

        there is absolutely no food shortage. there might be a money shortage in hungry countries, and there is certainly a food distribution problem, but there is more than enough food in the world to feed everybody.

      • 0 avatar
        kvndoom

        There’s no food shortage on a per-head average, but if you’re waiting for someone to transport food from regions with a surplus to regions plagued by drought/hunger, without somehow making a profit… well more people are just going to starve to death.

      • 0 avatar

        Agree – problem is not a food shortage. High birthrate and overpopulation is the problem in parts of world in which climate conditions and environment simply cannot support so many people. In the past population control was performed by hunger and high mortality rate. Then Westerners came and started to change the natural balance leading to excesses and wars.

        Government does not care about middle class because government needs only rich people to provide bribes and financing and poor people because they depend on government and are easier to control. So complain or not – nothing will change. If Government starts some trend it will only grow until it collapses.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      “My chief gripe about corn derived fuel is that, that corn could be used as, wait for it, food.”

      There is no shortage of corn. If anything, we already eat too much of it. For starters, corn syrup consumption levels generally correlate with rates of Type 2 diabetes.

      • 0 avatar
        dhanson865

        Yes, but there are government subsidies for corn and if we stopped subsidizing ethanol there would be one less excuse to subsidize corn.

        Next if we stopped subsidizing corn there would be less Type 2 diabetes if you think that there is a causation to go with that correlation.

        Personally I’d rather not see any ethanol requirement or subsidy.

        I’d be fine with higher gas prices and even a gas tax to help farmers stop growing corn and start growing something more nutritionally beneficial.

        I’d be fine with more gas taxes to help rebuild infrastructure like roads, bridges, railways, and even the “national”/regional electric grid(s).

        I’m not fine with more ethanol and I’d like to see the amount produced and consumed drop to below E5 levels.

    • 0 avatar
      Beerboy12

      Not that anyone gives a sh*t about what goes on in Africa, right? Let the peasant’s eat cake!
      Corn syrup is an essential healthy natural product chemically converted to sugar so no surprises there that it causes diabetes when you drink 2 gallons of pop a day… Please!

      • 0 avatar
        rnc

        corn syrup (sugar) is a healthy natural product, that is chemically identical to cane sugar, now high-fructose corn syrup (which is what we consume pounds of) is a man-made monster (comprised of three types of sugar molocules (one man engineered) instead of two) that behaves in no way like regular sugar. It is significantly chemically different (in terms of molecular bonding, HFCS has very weak bonds) and changes the way the body processes it (basically allowing the body to skip one step in the conversion process), so that there is less input energy required to release output, leading to excesses in comparison to what an equal amount of cane or corn sugar would produce.

        There’s a reason they finally had to pull that commercial comparing corn sugar and cane sugar, and then applying it to products using HFCS (move along, nothing to see here).

    • 0 avatar
      ihatetrees

      Re: “There is a food shortage in the world…”

      There’s no more of a food shortage than there there’s a gold shortage at $1500 an ounce.

      There is an LOW COST, nutritional food shortage for the world’s poor that’s made worse by the economically illiterate ethanol mandate. Then again, the economically illiterate green lobby in general hurts the world’s poor.

      • 0 avatar
        Beerboy12

        @rnc Corn syrup is a glucose, not sucrose and is manufactured using enzymes so not like sugar, chemically processed and not natural.
        Regardless it is sugars that cause diabetes and not the corn.
        The point remains that it is morally questionable to use a food source for gasoline.

  • avatar
    CJinSD

    Probably the stupidest defense I’ve heard of the ethanol scheme is that the corn used isn’t produce quality. Gee, you’d need to use different seeds or something if you wanted to repurpose the soil, water, fuel, and equipment being squandered on e-fuel production to something beneficial like growing food.

    • 0 avatar
      chaparral

      Since the U.S.A. is a food exporter, particularly in grains, any shortage that drives up prices is beneficial to our trade deficit. If we can cause a global shortage whenever we want, we can charge whatever price we want.

      Of course, the disadvantage is that we’d be causing a global human-rights crisis, emboldening every dictator or anti-American government out there, and also starving millions of people.

      The right answer here is to stay with E10 or switch to M5, and then to encourage exports by reducing any taxes or fees for exporting grain – and if that’s insufficient by subsidizing it. Methanol’s natural-gas derived and extremely cheap right now. Keep in mind that American refineries aren’t capable of producing enough high-octane “pure gas” without massive investments that any forward-thinking oil company would try to avoid.

  • avatar
    jacob_coulter

    Does anyone besides those getting a check from taxpayers actually “believe” in Ethanol?

    I have zero doubt if Iowa wasn’t the first state to have the Presidential primary/caucus, this absurd government policy would have never seen the light of day.

    Big Government and Big Business at its worst.

    • 0 avatar
      ihatetrees

      The same economic idiocy applies to many agricultural products. The Sugar Lobby ensures US consumers pay twice as much for sugar as the rest of the world.
      Of course, it benefits a handful of Florida and Hawaii sugar farmers (and keeps real estate in Hawaii at nose-bleed high levels

  • avatar

    Good for the AAA. Find some pure gas, just for the hell of it,
    and see what a difference it makes to your gas mileage and power.

    Impressed? Call up a marine repair place and ask what ethanol does to
    marine engines. They ought to give an unbiased answer unlike a car repair place that would love to install some new gaskets and seals in
    your car.

    I knew ethanol was wrong when I saw George Bush Jr. with his hands
    on a pump nozzle declaring that “this is the future”. He knew that
    his oil cronies would not sell one drop less oil because of how much
    oil it takes to make ethanol. In fact, he was probably informed that they would sell MORE.

    • 0 avatar
      YellowDuck

      Completely wrong. We can argue about the *energy* balance of corn ethanol, but *very little* of the energy that goes into it is petroleum-based. In the US, most of the energy input is coal or NG used to run the ethanol plant. Net petroleum replacement value of corn ethanol in the US is about 8:1, after considering corn production, ethanol production, corn and ethanol transport, etc.

      If ethanol makes sense in the US, it is only because it permits the conversion of an abundant, domestic energy source (coal) into a substitute for imported liquid petroleum.

  • avatar
    Landcrusher

    I suppose I must sound like a libertarian nut case just for asking this, but isn’t a mandate to buy something rather unconstitutional? And, how is it a good thing for a bunch of geeks in Congress to decide how something is to be made?

    Certainly, setting standards for fuels is an intrusion into the market which is pragmatic, but can’t you set standards and limits without demanding ingredients? Where is the incentive to innovate and find better solutions if the competing formula is mandated by law?

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      There are more libertarian “nutcases” around here than you might think. In good company!

    • 0 avatar
      tedward

      you don’t sound like a nutcase with that statement (unlike other issues, no tax issue to reference here at all). I’d say the real problem though is that they aren’t a bunch of geeks (at least in matters beyond legislative process). Because of their lack of expertise they don’t have the background to consult with the right geeks when it comes to tech. relevant issues. Because of their need for privately financed election funds they don’t have any incentive to look beyond the surface qualifications of the geeks presented to them by their best donors.

      Hence, true, one issue believers and industry shills (not sure who is scarier) carry the day on capitol hill. Even when the legislators really do have the best of intentions and do believe in good governance.

    • 0 avatar
      ttacgreg

      It is my understanding that the legislators are just going along with the lobbyist’s manipulation on this. In that sense then, this is not government mandating this, is the corporations,you know the vaunted entities of the glorious “free” market (monopoly, cough plutocracy, cough) pulling the legislator’s puppet strings.
      Don’t doubt for a moment that many Congressmen are cheap whores for lobbyist money. Our Government is far more corrupt than most people realize, or care to believe.

  • avatar
    Truckducken

    I hope AAA is successful!

    Next I hope they go after E10. What a fraud!

    At the very least, pumps ought to be obliged to display:
    - the actual % ethanol they are dispensing
    - the fuel value of the watered-down offering, as a % of real gas

    Better still, let’s have pumps display how many child-days worth of ethanol-derived calories you’re putting in your tank per fillup. (Of course, this misses all the petrochemicals wasted in producing the ethanol, but it’s a start.)

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Corn makes whiskey – Luke Bryan

    I rest my case on the proper use of corn to make alcohol.

  • avatar
    schmitt trigger

    Corn is also used in Corona beer.
    Another excellent use for corn derived ethanol.

  • avatar
    DrunkenDonuts

    Things like ethanol are what make me hate both parties in the US. Oh yes, line your pockets with $$$. You think your party actually cares about you? Think again. Also, think of your poor car.

  • avatar

    Cons:
    More money to mechanics and auto service centers.
    More money to the companies lobbying for E15.
    Costs increase for Gas stations updating/fixing/replacing fuel pumps, the costs of which are passed on to us.
    Costs increase for Automakers to make fuel systems compatible with a higher ethanol content. Again, passed onto consumers.
    Earlier junking of cars leading to new car purchases sooner than otherwise would have happened. More sales taxes for the Govt.
    Higher beef and chicken prices. Higher prices mean higher sales taxes.
    It takes a lot of energy to produce ethanol and there is no net energy gain or offset in carbon-dioxide not to mention the decimation of land, ground water levels or fertilizer runoffs.

    The govt hates it when sensible people drive old beaters and save money. They would like us all to ride new cars and live paycheck to paycheck. We are more controllable that way.

    Pros:
    Can’t think of any other than more money from the corn lobby to pad DC politicians which means they wouldn’t have to steal as much from us.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      I agree with your points, but I find this one the most interesting:

      “Earlier junking of cars leading to new car purchases sooner than otherwise would have happened. More sales taxes for the Govt.”

      This is exactly what they want to happen, tax revenue aside. Two words: planned obsolescence. What better way to jolt an otherwise flat economy?

      Pyramids of Waste (2010) AKA The lightbulb conspiracy
      http://www DOT youtube DOT com/watch?v=qjLDAlZMVYA

  • avatar
    Conslaw

    There is a legitimate reason for 10% alcohol in fuel. It acts as an source of oxygen that allows the engine to burn more cleanly. Compared to synthetic substitutes like MTBE, alcohol is more environmentally benign, at least to the water supply, anyway. That being said, I have never heard that an additional 5% of alcohol adds proportional benefits. Using alcohol as a fuel definitely has its problems, probably the worst of which is the effect on global food prices. It seems like cellulose-derived ethanol has been “just around the corner” for 25 years now.

    • 0 avatar
      nikita

      How many cars and gasoline-powered cars and trucks are left on the road with fixed jet carburetors? Of those, how many miles are driven annually? Anything manufactured in the last three decades has an O2 sensor and feedback loop to correct the mixture. When oxygenates were first mandated, a significant portion of the fleet was able to benefit, not any more. Regulations never seem to go away when the original justification does.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      That is false. Back when we had a lot of cars on the road that were equipped with carburetors it did reduce CO emissions in some, though it increased HC emissions in others. In fuel injected engines it does not significantly affect either of those emissions but it does increase NOx emissions. For oxygenation purposes the required blend is 5.75% not 10% or higher.

    • 0 avatar
      stuart

      Nikita and Scoutdude are correct.

      Putting oxygenate (MTBE or ethanol) in the gas of a car fitted with an O2 sensor does *not* improve emissions. Generally, the O2 sensor detects the leaner mixture (the extra oxygen blended into the fuel) and then the FI computer *richens the mixture to compensate*.

      Putting oxygenated fuel into any modern car has two effects: 1) slightly lower mileage 2) transfer $$$ from the car owner wallet to the oxygenate supplier (and, eventually, to congressional campaign funds via lobbyists).

      The jury is still out on E10/E20 versus old cars or lawnmowers (I think they’re avoiding the issue), but there is no question about any environmental benefits. There are none.

      stuart

  • avatar
    rnc

    There is a legitimate reason for 10% alcohol in fuel.

    It’s also the cheapest/easiest way to obtain our (comparitively low) octane ratings. In comparison to the MEL corp and its wonderful product that GM and Dupont unleashed onto the world I can deal with the 10%.

    • 0 avatar
      nikita

      Without subsidies, is ethanol cheaper than making more alkylate at the refinery?

      • 0 avatar
        Herm

        There are no more ethanol subsidies.. it used to be about $0.50 a gallon but that went away.. but there is a requirement for refineries to blend in 10%.. they buy ethanol from the farmers at market prices.

        It is a low cost way to increase octane in gasoline.. but it has 70% of the energy content of gasoline.. blending it with E0 gas usually reduces your mileage about 3%. You want a cheap way to get high octane for your turbo car?.. spike 10 gallons of E10 with 1 gallon of E85, you end up with around E20 but much higher octane and improved economy in cars that need it.

  • avatar
    EquipmentJunkie

    I stand by my statement from a few years ago: “In 20 years, we will look back at ethanol and laugh.”

    Ethanol makes sense for Brazil with their sugar cane production. The net energy produced just doesn’t pencil out when it comes to corn here in the States.

    I recently saw some data from a study of lawn & garden dealers who estimate that 75% of repairs are related to ethanol. I began running Stihl’s magic high octane, non-ethanol pre-mix in my string trimmer. It’s expensive to purchase but the engine loves it!

  • avatar
    blowfish

    actually the E10 in our gas is may not be a bad thing for my merc diesel, since I put in 5 bucks of RUG every tankful, to mix with my filtered Used vege oil.
    i mix RUG, DSL and UVO. The little bit of alcohol in the should absorb of any water content mixed in inadvertently with my oel filtration, as i collect the pail from the restaurant it usually sit outside, when its warm they dont put the lid on, and if so happens to be raining I can get some water in it.

    save me from going to buy methyl hydrate separately, they ain’t cheap no more.

  • avatar
    Viquitor

    BS! Down here we’ve been running cars on E25 since the late 1970′s, including imports. 15% of ethanol won’t do anything to the engine.

    And is it really that impossible to READ A LABEL on the fuel pump???

    • 0 avatar

      Well I can tell you E10 will destroy most of the rubber parts in cars older the 1984 and any off road engine (marine lawn care etc) older then about 1999. Never mind the water problem in equipment that sits around.

  • avatar
    50merc

    Next time you’re driving across the country, take I-35, I-40 or I-44 through Oklahoma and fill the tank. All over the place you’ll see stations with big signs, banners, billboards, etc., shouting “Pure Gas”, “100% Gas”, “No Ethanol” and the like. Obviously, station owners have figured out what people want. And if you do blunder into a station that has adulterated gas, you’ll be warned by a sign required by law that alerts consumers that the pump dispenses alcohol.

    It’s nice to know there are still some places that the environuts and statists don’t fully control. Of course, now that the fanatics in the EPA have another four year lease, our freedom remains endangered.

  • avatar

    Let me make sure I understand correctly:
    The U.S. Government has fuel economy mandates AND ethanol mandates… How does this make sense?

    • 0 avatar
      tedward

      (sort of) in their defense, a new car can absolutely accommodate both, provided it has a brand new engine plant in tow for drive-trains. Where it screws us is that engine plants are a long term investment and a ton of us drive not brand-new vehicles and plan on buying cars that are too heavy and powerful for the two conflicting mandates to be cheaply provided by manufacturers. It’s the modern equivalent of an old saying, “let them drive civics.”

      If we all drove lightweight compacts with low outputs, and all manufacturers were able to stump up cash for complete tech overhauls at a moments notice it wouldn’t be an issue at all. If indeed.

    • 0 avatar
      chaparral

      It makes sense if you understand that the goal of those two policies is to require that less ENERGY be used by vehicles. This would tend to demand lower-drag, lighter-weight, less-powerful cars.

  • avatar
    Angus McClure

    I have the answer to some of this and it came from my mother who has been gone for 5 years. She always told me that there were two things you never wanted to see. Sausage being made or your government at work. I am convinced that she was right.

    It matters little what your political persuasion. Reagan was right: “I’m from the Government and I’m here to help” are very scary words.


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