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 significant
Charles T. Drevna, President of American Fuel
& Petrochemical Manufacturers
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