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U.S. Gasoline Now Contains 10 Percent Ethanol

More than 95 percent of all fuel pumped into American vehicles now contains 10 percent ethanol, according to a new report from the Energy Information Administration (EIA), and the next step is a higher ethanol blend.

“Blends of petroleum-based gasoline with 10 percent ethanol, commonly referred to as E10, account for more than 95 percent of the fuel consumed in motor vehicles with gasoline engines. Ethanol-blended fuels are one pathway to compliance with elements of the federal renewable fuel standard (RFS),” the EIA noted.

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“With nearly all U.S. gasoline now being sold as E10, the only way to increase ethanol use in the motor vehicle fleet is to adopt fuel blends containing a higher volume of ethanol, such as E15 and E85. However, not all gasoline-powered vehicles can use these fuels,” the EIA said.

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E85, which contain between 51 percent and 83 percent ethanol by volume, can only be used in flex fuel vehicles.

In the final RFS rules issued in November 2015, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimated use of 320 million gallons of higher ethanol blends E15 and 200 million gallons of E85 in 2016.

Combined, these values would represent only 0.4 percent of the total 142 billion gallons of fuel use by vehicles and other equipment with gasoline-burning engines expected during 2016, according to EIA's latest Short-Term Energy Outlook.

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Green Plains told Platts it expects U.S. ethanol production to hover between 950,000 and 1 million barrels per day for the rest of this year.

"Even if margins aren't great, they will pump as much as they can," an unnamed source told Platts, as this year has seen steady corn prices against falling ethanol prices, leaving narrow margins for producers.

By Charles Kennedy of Oilprice.com

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  • Bill Simpson on May 05 2016 said:
    I like the pure gasoline, even though it costs more. Down here on the very humid Gulf Coast, the alcohol attracts too much moisture out of the very damp air. I looked down into my fuel tank on the lawn tractor, and saw a brown blob of some liquid gunk from the ethanol removing water from the air. I had to get a piece of vinyl tubing to suck it out before it went into the carburetor. Since I started using pure gasoline, no problem. I'm brown blob free.
    And I'm not responsible for excessive topsoil erosion from growing corn to use for fuel. Once that topsoil gone, look out. That took millions of years to make.
  • Terry Garvin on May 05 2016 said:
    Ethanol is one of the worst policy/ products ever developed. The waste created by yard equipment and other small engines that are thrown away every year because they are ruined by ethanol is staggering. This is a product that has so many unintended consequences and so little upside we should get rid of it now.
  • IDrinkEthanol on May 05 2016 said:
    Ethanol belongs in my bourbon, not my gas tank!
  • Kay on May 05 2016 said:
    Jeff, your numbers are wrong. Civic cannot get more than 32 mpg on the hwy. Please show realistic data if you want the readers to believe in your comment. Besides, ethanol leaves the air you breathe more clean.
  • Jeff on May 04 2016 said:
    Ethanol is a joke. It's a performance robbing additive that depletes an engine of its potential. Besides attacking internal engine components, it directly diminishes fuel efficiency. Living in a coastal community, a few stations carry 100% gas for the boaters. I switched to the 100% gas and after three tanks, my 2014 Wrangler gets 24mpg on the highway versus the 21mpg on ethanol. My wife's 2012 Civic gets 40mpg with 100% gasoline versus 38mpg on an ethanol blend. Leave ethanol in the corn field.

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