Key industry officials answer a poll question from HydrocarbonProcessing.com
Is it reasonable for 15% fuel ethanol blends (E15) to be
used in passenger vehicles during the next decade?
My answer is only in certain regions. Autos in
some countries like Brazil already use 25% ethanol in
the gasoline blend. Brazil is also unique in that there
is a large portion of the auto fleet that can use 100%
ethanol fuel instead of
gasoline. In the U.S., we expect the E10 gasoline blend
to remain the dominant fuel product and do not expect
widespread introduction of E15 for at least another
five years. Most U.S. fuel retailers have been
reluctant to sell the E15 blend because use of the fuel
would void most new car warranties. Another barrier to
the introduction of E15 is that state-level fuel
specifications would need to be changed; something that
took several years when ethanol was first introduced
in the late 2000s.
Alfred Luaces, IHS Senior Director of
Research and Analysis,
Global Petroleum Markets
After more testing than has ever been completed
for a 211(f) fuel waiver, the U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency approved the use of E-15 for use in 2001 and
newer vehicles. Its use will grow slowly over time as
the resistance to its use by the refining industry withers in
the face of compelling economics and consumer
Bob Dinneen, President and CEO of the
Renewable Fuels Association
E15 should be made
available when the science shows it is safe for
consumers and consumers actually demand the fuel. Over
95% of cars and light trucks in the U.S. are currently
built to run on gasoline containing 10 percent ethanol,
or E10, and todays auto manufacturers will not
warranty their engines for the use of fuel with higher
ethanol content. They have
good cause; a recent CRC study issued in May shows that
even the use of E15 in EPA-approved vehicles can cause
Charles T. Drevna, President of American Fuel
& Petrochemical Manufacturers
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