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E15 fuel could damage fuel systems, new study shows

Damning new research suggests that the use of E15 fuel in the US will lead to the damage of millions of vehicles.

According to the Coordinating Research Council (CRC) the use of the fuel could result in fuel system failures for numerous post-2001 vehicles.

E15 LabelThe fuel, a mix of 15 per cent ethanol and 85 per cent petroleum, recently gained approval from the country’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). But the CRC say the decision was made prematurely, as at the time, the council had not completed its testing of the fuel’s effects.

With new evidence that suggests the use of the fuel could result in erratic and misleading fuel gauge readings, critical component failures and faulty check engine light illuminations, the American Petroleum Industry is calling on EPA to repeal its ruling.

API Group Director of Downstream and Industry Operations,  Bob Greco called EPA’s decision ‘irresponsible’, adding: “EPA knew E15 vehicle testing was on-going but decided not to wait for the results. Why did EPA move forward prematurely?”

The Renewable Fuel Standard imposed by EPA mandates for the use of renewable fuel in transport fuel, typically with gasoline sold in the country now containing a 10 per cent mix of ethanol. With the approval of the higher blend back in 2011, for vehicles registered after 2001, E15 fuel has been making a slow roll out in the country’s gas stations, starting with one pump in Kansas (see story).

This new research could prove a serious roadblock to the continued rollout of the fuel despite the Renewable Fuel Standard which currently mandates for the use of 36 billion gallons of renewable fuel as transport fuel by 2022.

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Faye Sunderland

Filed under: Biofuels

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