Jennifer Johnson at Wahpeton North Dakota’s Daily News has looked into ethanol smack in the midst of America’s prime oil boom of the Bakken oil field. For all the naysayers, ethanol is here and looks to stay.
Ethanol fuel blends increased by 133 percent in North Dakota in 2010. It seems to be because North Dakota does what no other state seems to be able to get done. They’re putting in the blender pumps at the service station – at least that’s the suggestion from the North Dakota Department of Commerce.
Ethanol Blender Pump Diagram.
The Dakota Plains gas station in Lidgerwood ND has been offering the blend since last March. Weldon Hoesl, the stations general manager, could not pinpoint how much E85 usage has increased this year – the crude oil market drives the price of ethanol, and usage usually follows. He does explain he has noticed more of an interest in blends for older vehicles that can’t use the fuel saying, “People just driving their regular vehicles can use the 20-30 (percent ethanol) without any loss of gas mileage, and the extra ethanol prevents gas line freezing so they don’t have to put in a little jug of antifreeze. Plus, the price is cheaper on a 20 percent blend.”
Well, there’s a real world experience – blowing some reality check on the E-15 argument that has so many in a huff.
Ethanol Blending Pump Showing Octane Ratings. Imagine the compression ratio gains if you could use 105 octane.
Hoesl notes what might be even more relevant, people get to choose – pointing out, “They can choose what they want to burn and what works best for them. We’re supporting ourselves by using the ethanol product that not only helps our farmers, but it uses less gasoline – when you get E85, we’re not dependent on our oil fields to support us.” Actually getting to E-40 almost gets the U.S. independently supplied.
Do you suppose there is a lot of “Support America” sentiment up there?
These results for people, business and for the country as a whole are being led by North Dakota’s Biofuels Blender Pump Program. The program has installed about 117 new blender pumps in 27 communities across the state. The program provides retailers with a $5,000 tax incentive toward installing the pump and the North Dakota Corn Council gives an additional $2,500 per pump.
The program support gives away the motivating parties. Corn is grown way up there, maybe not at the yields seen in Iowa or Illinois, but the value is there to the state and the local growers. More sales supports a higher price that yields more income taxes from the farmers and they’re bright enough to feed the market some supply support.
Keep in mind there are about 22 states in the U.S. where corn is grown. This idea is showing legs, and the legs are giving consumers a choice. One might expect that in a small town newspaper there would be blowback in the comments. Your writer has let this article sit for over a week – and no one has posted a comment – not even one about hard stating, destroyed fuel system components – nothing posted at all. One would expect at least the ethanol opponents would have found the article and pounded the opposing view.
They might now. But it’s to late to be credible.
Ethanol works. In a fuel market replete with market distortions the U.S. has an option and is using it. All the fighting aside, ethanol is closing in on a million barrels a day of oil equivalent, keeping s a huge share of the consumer’s gasoline fuel dollars in the U.S.
It works, in oil patch no less. It can work all across the country and the world as well.
By. Brian Westenhaus
Source: Ethanol in Oil Patch