By Ben DuBose
HOUSTON -- Proposals to incorporate 15% fuel ethanol blends
(E15) in passenger vehicles are being met with resistance by
many in the global hydrocarbon processing industry (HPI),
according to a new poll.
With several hundred votes cast at
Hydrocarbonprocessing.com, 67% of respondents say it
is neither safe nor economical for E15 blends to be used in
passenger vehicles during the next decade.
Over 95% of cars and light trucks in the US are
currently built to run on gasoline containing 10% ethanol, or
E10, and todays auto manufacturers will not warranty
their engines for the use of fuel with higher ethanol
content, said Charles T. Drevna, president of the
American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers
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 damage, he added.
Meanwhile, 21% said it was reasonable for E15 blends to be
used within five years.
After more testing than ever has been completed, the
US Environmental Protection Agency approved the use of E-15 for
use in 2001 and newer vehicles, said Bob Dinneen, CEO of
the Renewable Fuels Association.
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 choice, he
Another 6% of respondents said the safety of E15 blends
depended largely on region.
Autos in some countries like Brazil already use 25%
ethanol in the gasoline blend, said Alfred Luaces, IHS
senior director of research and analysis for global petroleum
Brazil is also unique in that there is a large portion
of the auto fleet that can use 100% ethanol fuel instead of
gasoline, he continued.
In the US, 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.
Luaces cited the voiding of existing car warranties and
possible changes to state-level fuel specifications as barriers
to the adoption of E15 over the next several years.
To see more details on this poll
as well as access prior Hydrocarbon Processing poll
results, click here.
(Editors note: Polls are
where we at Hydrocarbon Processing gather industry sentiment on
significant issues of the day. Visit the home page to weigh in
on our latest poll regarding cybersecurity in the