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Latest study is part of debate to boost
maximum ethanol blend percentage beyond 10 percent
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or retransmission is prohibited under U.S. copyright laws.
Increasing the amount of ethanol blended
into gasoline from 10 percent to 20 percent causes no significant change
in performance of automotive fuel systems according to research conducted
by the Minnesota Center for Automotive Research at Minnesota State University,
The study examined the impact of gasoline with a 20 percent
blend of ethanol (E20) on the endurance, wear and performance of automotive
fuel pumps and sending units. This study is the fourth in a
series of research projects conducted to determine the effect of E20
on fuel system components.
The study looked at eight models of fuel pumps, running
three identical versions of each model for 4,000 hours using one of
three different fuels - gasoline, E10 and E20. Gasoline and E10 were
used in the study as a reference to identify what effects two accepted
fuels would have on the pumps and sending units. The 24 pumps were selected
to represent a variety of manufacturers, model years, common vehicles
and designs. In addition, the study examined the effect of E20 on nine
different makes and models of sending units.
The study found that the pumps showed significantly less wear
when tested with E20 than with gasoline. The study concluded
that overall, E20 did not have any greater negative effects than gasoline
or E10 on the fuel pumps tested. It also showed there were no substantial
differences in the performance of the sending units tested in the three
Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Bob Dinneen said
the results add to the evidence proving the efficacy of higher level
ethanol blends in vehicles on American roads today.
"The State of Minnesota continues to lead the nation
in a renewable fuels revolution, passing the first mandate for the use
of 20 percent ethanol blends and continuing to provide the
scientific evidence to support it," Dinneen said. "Increasing
the amount of ethanol utilized in American gas tanks is essential to
the goals of reduced foreign oil dependence and increased green economic
activity. This report helps move the dial in that direction."
Minnesota State University, Mankato conducted the studies
as part of the process to receive a federal waiver from the US Environmental
Protection Agency. This waiver is necessary for the state to
proceed toward the mandated goal that ethanol comprise 20 percent of
nearly all gasoline sold in Minnesota beginning in 2013.
The study was based on nationally recognized standards and protocols
to ensure research quality. Support was provided by the Renewable Fuels
Association, Minnesota Corn Growers Association, and the Minnesota Department
is a link to the study.
Comments: Several other
studies have also been released and they give conflicting signals to the
eventual decision on whether or not to increase the maximum ethanol blend
percentage beyond 10 percent for non-flex fuel vehicles.
This column is copyrighted material, therefore reproduction or
retransmission is prohibited under U.S. copyright laws.