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  1. If you missed the recent announcement, USDA will soon launch a Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program (HBIIP) that will have a total of $100M of funding - $86M for ethanol; $14M for biodiesel. You can read more about the announcement here: https://ethanolrfa.org/2020/02/rfa-thanks-usda-for-renewable-fuels-infrastructure-grant-program-fleet-directive/ USDA also announced the plan to utilize more E15 and E85 in their fleet, which could equate to 9 million more gallons of E15 and 10 million more gallons of E85. If you know of retailers interested in the program, please send them our way. We are getting several ready for the application process expected this spring. Robert; RFA
  2. All: The tax extenders package from earlier this week included a key provision for higher blends, specifically E85. The Alternative Fuel Vehicle Refueling Property Credit (AFVRPC) was included for tax years 2018, 2019 and 2020. There are fuel retailers across the country that will be entitled to a tax credit for installing E85 in these tax years. I have included a short summary that you can find here on the law, and how they can file to get their credit: https://ethanolrfa.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/Fuel-Retailer-Tax-Extender-Update-12.17.19.pdf Please share with your fuel retailer contacts in your states as it could be quite a windfall for some. All the best, Robert White; RFA
  3. If you missed the announcement and the release of recent mini-episodes, the RFA's Flex Fuel Wrangler has been unveiled. This took place on Tuesday at the 2019 SEMA Show in Las Vegas. The 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL Unlimited was fitted with a 7.0L Supercharged HEMI that is churning out more than 1,100 horsepower on E85. You can catch the mini-episodes on RFA's Facebook or Instagram accounts, or go to your TV and find Hauk Machines on Amazon Prime. http://agnewswire.com/2019/11/07/flex-fuel-jeep-wrangler-debuts-in-vegas/ Enjoy! Robert
  4. If you missed the announcement, RFA has partnered with Hauk Designs to build a custom off-road vehicle that will feature E85. The build will feature a 2018 Wrangler JL and expectations are more than 1,000 horsepower. You can learn more in our press release (link below), and follow the action via mini-episodes on RFA's Facebook (link below). Once the 14-weeks social media campaign is over, the content will be bundled and expanded, then featured on Amazon Prime on the show, Hauk Machines. RFA Press Release: https://ethanolrfa.org/2019/07/rfa-hauk-designs-to-showcase-ethanol-benefits-with-e85-flex-fuel-off-road-project/ Follow the action here: https://www.facebook.com/EthanolRFA/
  5. All: Here is a few photos and a video from the unveil of RFA motorcycle event in Garnett, KS. You can find more information here. Enjoy! EKAE_-_American_Chopper_-_Ethanol_Bike_Reveal.mp4
  6. All: If you are interested... Monday, June 11th at 10pm EST on Discovery Channel's American Chopper, Paul Jr. will unveil a new custom motorcycle for the ethanol industry. If you like E85, you should like this bike. Enjoy! Robert RFA
  7. All: In case you missed the news, the RFA partnered with Paul Teutul, Jr of Paul Jr. Designs to promote ethanol in motorcycles. Paul built the RFA a custom motorcycle that was unveiled for filming of American Chopper this past weekend. American Chopper has a sneak peek out that you can catch on Discovery Channel, and the show will officially return on May 28th. The first motorcycle to be featured will be for the Buffalo Chip Campground, a long partner of the RFA, and will be made to run on E85. The RFA bike will be featured in later episodes, and we expect that to air in late June or early July, and it will also run on E85. Both bikes will be featured with Paul Jr. during the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in August. The image of the motorcycle is embargoed until the show airs, but you can take my word for it that there is no mistaking that this is to promote ethanol and E85. Stay tuned! Robert RFA
  8. Auto technology is quickly adapting hybrid technology. It makes a lot of sense to do so, given the advantages. Companies like GKN have electric axles that offer a compact solution. Their axle can provide the vehicle rear wheel electric drive and a battery mount. It's a low cost adaptation to hybrid technology available to all car manufacturers. Know that the auto industry is busy standardizing components and technology to share cost and offer better implementation of higher quality products. So, think of the limitations and strengths of motor/battery power and do the same for ICE/fuel power. They offer a very efficient system combined. This combined system maximizes the value of expensive battery. It keeps the battery weight to a minimum. The gas engines provides unlimited range and ease of self battery charging. The battery supplies power for short duration acceleration and recoups deceleration energy. The engine provides a much needed heat source. The engine and motor can both be downsized since they are used in parallel during high torque needs. Basically, the engine sized for cruising horsepower needs, the zone that the battery is miserable to accommodate. The combined system is more efficient than either alone. Technology is making this car cheaper to produce as compared to early models. They will be easy to justify and may become the standard vehicle design. Sure, much room to tweak the design to buyers preference whether it be high acceleration or plug in frugality, but the basic design is standardized. This hybrid would be the lightest variant and know that weight is of primary importance to manufactures per cost and efficiency. The engine will steady increase in efficiency and narrow the gap as compared to efficiency of electric motor powered by battery refueled by grid power. Engines are already achieving 40 percent thermal efficiency. A figure that comparable to grid power efficiency. Over time the grid will surely improve to a higher percentage of renewable power, but so will fuel. The hybrid will continue to evolve to afford the customer more value. The drive may become all electric, but the engine will continue to provide the critical power need probably until and if the fuel cell can step in as a cost effective replacement.
  9. UM university, Ford research, and Advanced Engineering Group had interesting test results for DI engine and ethanol ability to reduce PM emissions. It discloses why ethanol is superior fuel. If you get into discussion with the "pure gasoline now " folks explain to them that ethanol is makes their gasoline a better fuel. Also, the discussion on BTU and those that attempt to imply the best fuel has highest BTU rating. High points of study: - Ethanol produces a magnitude less PM pollution. This may be the best or most important fuel character fact as health studies are continuing to evolve to fossil fuel health concerns. - Ethanol has higher laminar flame speed which presents shorter combustion duration that results in higher thermal efficiency of the engine. - Ethanol has simple chemical structure that results in lower exery destruction, meaning the chemical nature of ethanol has more potential available energy to release. IOWS the fuel releases more engery than the BTU rating would suggest as compared to gasoline. - Ethanol has lower boiling point and lower combustion temperatures that naturally produce less NOX and less UHC (unburned hydro carbon). - Ethanol has strong ability to suppress formation of benzens and sooting both of which are serious health hazards One challenge of combustion efficiency for flex engines that attempt to run all blends of ethanol is the direct injection spray pattern. The two fuels have different requirements for optimum spray pattern. Spray breakup, atomization, vapoization, turbulence changes will result in high ethanol blends impinging more fuel on metal surfaces of combustion chamber and charge stratification. So, again we learn the benefits of optimized E85 engine increasing efficiency and lowering emissions as compared to general flex engine. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2015/04/20150426-etohdisi.html
  10. We wonder why more customers don't chose higher blends of ethanol? Why doesn't the public demand E15 and flex fuel cars? Think of a busy shopper with minimal time to care of such things. The consumer whom is treated to an avalanche of advertising and warnings. All the information is attempting to influence their choices in life. They want a fast decision. They want a simple choice and one that is secure and will not harm them in the long run. We know the public has generational evidence upon the wise decision of choosing plain gasoline. Yet, some that want more will "feel" better about their choice if they spend more for premium fuel. Premium has to be better and the trusted supplier is providing easy evidence that it surely does keep the engine clean, for example.
  11. Guest


    I was watching a Netflix series on food and health with commentator Michael Palin. The wheat segment had a comment from a nutritionist that was very interesting. The history of advance of civilization and the important role of food supply with domesticated wheat. But, did you know that if one merely ate wheat they would starve or die of bad nutrition. Only when the wheat is ground up and allowed to ferment with leavening does the wheat magically become life sustaining. The sour dough leavening contains a natural microbe mix that nutritionist think the real improvement. Something we have lost in modern commercial bakeries. Also, the whole grain flour and the low horsepower method of stone grinding play a important role in health. Our modern fast methods of making flour may be destroying micro nutrients that health research have just recently realized a very important food character. Over cooking or harsh cooking will damage the nutritional value of food, as well. We have a better understanding of health benefits of raw or low heat cooking to minimize the damage and loss of micro nutrients, nowadays. So, how does this relate to feed? Well, think about how we have also learned that healthy meat comes from healthy animals. That corn has been criticized as a feed especially for fattening up cattle per the bad fat content of the meat. It's a unnatural food for the usual grass eating bovine. That the majority of corn harvest goes to the task of animal feed. What would be the consequences of taking that portion and processing to a much higher nutritional feed stock? I would think a win win and huge improvement in human diet. To maximize the value of corn utilize for animal feed may take a processing plant to bake the stuff into sour dough mix. The "corn bread" crumbles a big improvement to animal health and extents the corn product value. Top it off, my guess the processing may include pulling off the undesirable corn oil component. May an ethanol plant become a corn processing plant? I remember the talk of industry converting to wet mill operations per the value of flexing production to many more co-products. My guess this would be very superior method for nutrition as its a low horsepower impact of corn kernel. So, the processing plant could flex between yet another co-product. Utilize some starch and distillery grains to ferment with wild microbes for extremely healthy feed. It may prove out the entire corn crop can be managed this way and the practice of feeding of raw corn to live stock would pass away. The processing plant could optimize operations per market demands and remove unwanted constituents of corn feed for other co-products. The movie was pretty convincing that modern practices of making bread removes most of the valuable health benefits. Can only think we could learn a lesson here for animal feed as well.
  12. I thought everyone here would have want to check out this new documentary film, PUMP, which is now available on iTunes (and amazon in a few weeks). PUMP is about the dependence on oil and Big Oil monopoly. It promotes the benefits of flex fuel, ethanol and E85 for our economics, environment, agriculture and foreign relations. As you know, more E85 innovation will create more jobs and lower prices. You can see the trailer and the film here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/movie/pump/id943512408 and here: http://www.pumpthemovie.com Check it out! Also here is an interesting Q&A with John Brackett, an expert on flex fuel who is in PUMP. http://bit.ly/14XdlQX Brackett, an automotive engineer in Colorado who goes by the Twitter handle @Fuelverine, has spent a great deal of time promoting the film, which is now available for pre-order on iTunes. Brackett specializes in tinkering with gasoline-powered engines — any kind, including vehicles and generators — to make them run on multiple types of fuel. But he’s also on a mission to educate the general public, as well as regulators. Converting one’s car to run on alternative fuels is technically not legal, as is using any fuel not specifically listed in the owner’s manual. But once the public finds out that replacement fuels like ethanol, methanol and natural gas are not only cheaper but burn cleaner than gasoline, they’ll demand them in the marketplace. And they’ll want to learn how to convert their own cars. As Fuelverine says in PUMP: “That’s the best part about being an American: We don’t like it, we’ll change it.” Fuel Freedom: Why aren’t all the vehicles rolling off the assembly lines labeled as flex-fuel? John Brackett: The only reason they were ever flex-fuel in the first place was CAFÉ standards (Corporate Average Fleet Economy). And basically what they said is that, ‘Hey, your 6 miles per gallon Tahoe, since it only burns 15 percent gasoline [running on E85], is a 66 mpg vehicle!’ So your overall average for your fleet went up, and that’s why we only have flex-fuel in the giant V-8s and the V-6s. They very rarely went into the four-cylinders, and when they did, they canceled the model within 1-2 years, or even worse, they made it so you could only buy it if you were a commercial or rental fleet company. The [Chevy] Malibu is my favorite example: They made flex-fuel in 2010 for ‘em, but it was only for the commercial or the rental fleets, and you couldn’t buy that four-cylinder from your local dealer. So there was never any incentive for them to actually make it mass-produced, they’re just doing it to hit the CAFÉ credits. FF: Is it a case of companies only doing something because they have a financial incentive to? JB: Exactly. I’m not usually a mandate-type person, but the Open Fuel Standard is the right type of mandate to allow competition right now. We just don’t have any options. FF: What are you most interested in right now? JB: My main thrust is actually making any engine run off of any fuel. I’ve built generators, I’ve gotten cars running on fuels, I’ve done hydrogen, ethane, methane, propane, butane, ethanol, methanol and gasoline. So my personal interest is being able to tell the computer what to change to run off those other fuels. What blew my mind was that the GM cars, and from what we’re told from several tuners, all the Ford cars since 2005, already have the algorithm in there. They literally turned it off. It’s in there. FF: Is it possible for a car running on ethanol to get better mileage than gasoline? JB: Basically, E85 has about 25 to 27 percent less energy in the same volume. So when you drive on the fuel, you would expect to lose that much gas mileage. What we found was that if you were driving on the stock flex-fuel from GM, you lost 25 to 30 percent, exactly what you would expect. When I started doing my tuning, and I would change the spark timing just a little bit – I varied it very small, and I did a lot of runs –and when I treated the fuel as gasoline or with slight advancement in timing, we only lost 5 to 15 percent of our fuel mileage. Let’s go to what GM has already done: GM has a 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder, turbocharged engine out for the Buick Regal. That engine makes 5 to 15 percent more power on E85 than regular gasoline, while still getting the same fuel mileage. They have obviously tuned that car, so they have no problems doing it. Now, if we go to what is called direct-injection engines, which are definitely in the future … you can get even more efficiency out of it. You get another 15 to 20 percent efficiency increase by going to direct injection. FF: If you look at prices of E85 around the country, there’s a big disparity [for example, it’s $2.09 in Iowa and $2.59 in Arizona, according to E85prices.com]. What will it take to get more consistency? JB: If you have a bad original flex-fuel tune from a factory, you’re going to lose 30-40 percent [in mileage compared with gasoline]. Nobody wants to do that when it’s only 10 to 20 percent cheaper fuel. That’s one of the big reasons we try to use methanol as a big one, because it is so much cheaper, especially on a dollar-per-mile basis. But the ethanol fight, we just need more cars that have it as an option. Until we have that, you’re not going to have that market saturation. So if you think about where the cars are vs. the market, the numbers don’t add up. And that’s why we need every car to have the option to run a flex-fuel — on gasoline or ethanol or methanol, or any combination of them in the same tank. FF: A constant refrain among the anti-ethanol crowd is that it damages engines. JB: The biggest thing I like to tell people is, if you start with the first cars: They were all flex-fuel. They stopped being flex-fuel because of Prohibition. We have the materials, we know how to do this, we’ve been doing this for 30 years. Every car made since 2001 or ’02 has E10-compliant components. All the fuel lines, everything. And if you look at the corrosive nature of ethanol, it happens most between E10 and E30, so it’s actually very small blends of ethanol that cause the worst corrosion. But all the cars should already come to the factory with parts that work for it. There shouldn’t be any problem with it. FF: Tell me about this conversion kit you’re using, by Flex Fuel U.S. JB: They have the only E85-approved conversion system right now in the United States. What is different about their unit is it plugs into the oxygen sensor, so it reads the exact feedback from the oxygen system. So if it is lean [too much oxygen and not enough fuel], it should adjust. It plugs in line with the injectors as well, the difference being it doesn’t increase the injector pulse for the stock injectors; they add a whole new injector somewhere in the intake system, and flood the system that way. So they’re actually adding additional injectors to it. I’ve talked to the guy several times. Basically, he has to sell the kits for $1,100 to $1,500 right now, because it cost him $4 million to go through the EPA certification process. And that was only for 8 to 10 models. It’s absolutely ridiculous, the hindrance to competition. But he could easily, at mass scale, sell these for $300 to $500. … We are now at the point where EPA is stopping us from getting clean air. They’re just making things more expensive.
  13. Guest


    How could ethanol improve it's image? Currently, we battle to defend, let alone improve ethanol image. Opponents win when sales motivated upon a defense of the fuel. Think of the fuel primary benefits being turned upside down. Cost, environment, jobs, economic, etc. Youth especially are susceptible to group influence in the facebook and twitter age and need to spout conventional wisdom to gain respect. They need fresh ideas (or old ones reinvented) to impress upon peers their wisdom and ignorance of older generations. Nothing new here, lol. My daughter are in this generation and often claim new found intelligence upon their generation and point to evils of mono culture and of the corn plant. It rings like a conspiracy to poison citizens, corporate greed, and capitalistic evil as compared to sashaying about with wine glass enjoying appreciative friendly organic gardening neighbors, good health, and easy lifestyle (Thank you Omnivores). The farmer has suffered upon pubic image. Just a few years back, (even on this site) ethanol suffer the conventional wisdom that corn was the stupidest feed stock ever for ethanol. I have a friend that talks of such concerns when attempting to make the family farm profitable for his son. Regulators enacting layers of expensive regs per public demands that think the farmers wholesale wrecking the environment and poisoning its customers. I sat on jury once with teacher whom basically hated country kids and felt they were renegades that think they could do as they please. She was all for cracking the legal whip and taking away any extra freedom that might be enjoyed. How to stem this tide? I would steer away form the corn images at the E85 pump. Publish and provide studies, facts, polls, human interest, personal testimony, for the news and media. Provide students and educators ample opportunity to entail experiments, contests, competition, assignments, kits, and to keep up on new technology. Utilize internet media to accomplish same. Provide stories of successful small generator of ethanol, engine conversions, and consumer benefits. This would be the Mother Earth organic gardening human interest side that is so attractive, especially to youth. Fight the corporate image of ethanol and farm owners that the opponents of ethanol try to stereotype. Make stories personal and enlightening. Utilize as much popularity energy as possible i.e. trends, actors. If selfies are the rage, offer contest to those with E85 signage in background. If U-tube fame offer same individual opportunity to do likewise with side benefit of "ethanol support". Racing is home run as we know. Same could ensue with university engineering competition of E85 mpg contest support by farm community. Offer media popular human interest stories of ethanol such as youth experiments or single parents making cost efficient choices. Instead of broad whole sale defense of the fuel, just offer one interesting drip or tid bit of fact and if done frequently will break the dam of conventional bias. I do think ethanol is winning the battle and that petrol competition is at a all time panic to strike as much damage to the ethanol image as possible and throw as much political influence to accomplish the same. The RFS and cellulosic fuel is a battle they don't want to lose. Another point probably hopelessly lost is the indirect land use and food vs fuel issue that is slippery and totally defenseless per subjective content and common belief. Public thinks their is a need for safety to limit or corner farming opportunity. This is similar thinking to forbidding exports of gasoline as we want cheap fuel or stop Ford from exporting autos just the juice to keep prices down and supply up. Just bad economic competence that always surfaces as poison if economy suffers. To this, it might be best to continue max public information of cellulosic and alternative feed stock for ethanol. Inform public that ethanol increase will not take more corn and starve citizens or destroy land. UW Madison genetic tree success for pulp feed stock or the Misanthus feed stock very interesting story to be told from all angles. Same with waste ethanol success.
  14. In honor of April Fuels’ Day, National Corn Growers Association CEO Chris Novak and Renewable Fuels Association CEO Bob Dinneen penned the following letter to Congress about the dangers of America’s growing dependence on renewable fuels from the troubled Midwest region. Dear Members of Congress: In recent years, Americans have become increasingly reliant on renewable fuels produced in agricultural states in the Midwest. Some argue that greater use of renewable fuels like ethanol is a good idea merely because it costs 60-80 cents less per gallon than regular gasoline, offers higher octane and better engine performance, has fewer toxic emissions, and creates hundreds of thousands of American jobs. Sure, but what about the national security implications? The fact is, the Midwest is a virtual tinderbox of conflicting allegiances. The region is deeply divided, with factions loyal to the Packers, Bears, Vikings, Lions and Colts frequently at odds with one another. (Some analysts have questioned whether the Vikings are too weak to pose a serious threat to their neighbors, but Teddy Bridgewater had decent numbers last year). Any resolution to the argument about “Duck, Duck, Goose” has proved elusive, with intransigent Minnesotans continuing to insist upon “Duck, Duck, Gray Duck” – a stance that has isolated the regime against the rest of the country. Tragically, these disputes often divide members of the same family who have lived for many years in a neighboring state … pitting brother against brother, cousin against cousin, Swede against Swede, at many a family picnic. Even the individual states themselves are not unified, including the intractable Cardinals vs. Royals divide and decades old disputes in Wisconsin between the dominant “drinking fountain” faction and the smaller but fervent “bubbler” faction. Then there is the whole “hotdish” vs. “casserole” question. What would happen if, for example, Minnesota were to invade northern Iowa, seizing key ethanol refineries along the border and demanding the Iowa legislature pass a resolution declaring “Duck, Duck Gray Duck” the official waterfowl game of the Hawkeye State? The nation might have to learn to do without cleaner, less expensive, less toxic, higher performance fuel. We are not alone in warning against dependence on renewable fuels such as ethanol. In fact, oil industry leaders have been sounding the alarm bells for years as these homegrown, renewable fuels have risen to 10% of the nation’s fuel supply. This, in turn, has contributed to the lowest oil imports in decades – with Exxon Mobil’s profits plummeting to a mere $32.5 billion last year. Fortunately, there is an alternative to Midwestern renewable fuel – we can simply import more foreign oil from countries such as Iraq, Russia, Libya and Venezuela. Seriously, what could go wrong? The most urgent thing Congress could do to curtail our dangerous reliance on renewable fuels would be to repeal or “reform” the Renewable Fuel Standard. Doing so would result in an immediate increase in foreign oil imports and strengthen champions of democracy such as Vladimir Putin. As a side benefit, the move would also be a devastating blow to advanced biofuels such as cellulosic ethanol. Sure, it would drive billions of dollars in investment in these technologies to China and Brazil. That would be a shame – if all you care about is money and jobs and clean air and lower gasoline prices. Don’t be so shortsighted. It’s not too late to choose Mideastern oil over Midwestern ethanol. The time has come for more foreign oil and less renewable fuel. Sincerely, Chris Novak CEO of the National Corn Growers Association and longtime Midwesterner Bob Dinneen President & CEO of the Renewable Fuels Association and Member of the “Bubbler” Clan
  15. All: Thought I would share my latest blog post. While it does discuss E15 a great deal, remember that at least for now, E85 comes with E15 at each station. Robert By Robert White, RFA's Vice President of Industry Relations — RFA talks with thousands of fuel retailers at petroleum marketer meetings, conferences, webinars, and one-on-one meetings. Over the course of these meetings it quickly becomes clear that every decision made by fuel retailers is based on return on investment (ROI) and the outcome of every decision is compounded exponentially for the 60% that are single station owners. Today, nearly all of these stations offer premium fuel, but should they? Until this year, the business case for E15 hinged on what vehicles the EPA had approved: 2001 & newer light duty cars, trucks and SUVs. These vehicles tally over 203 million, or 83% of the U.S. fleet. That is more than enough to justify the infrastructure to support them. But that has not happened and we must ask why not. The reason most often given is that while the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has approved the use of E15 in these vehicles, the auto manufacturers have not. So what do the facts say? RFA recently found that 70% of MY15 vehicles are explicitly warranted for E15 — a trend that has been moving upward since MY12. So, just how many vehicles are now explicitly warranted for E15? More than 41 million! Add to that the 18 million FFVs that are also approved for E15, and there are 59 million E15 warranted cars on the road today. For comparison, there are just 15 million cars requiring premium gas today. But, no high performance automobile owner has trouble finding premium fuel! Here is the breakdown: ~244,000,000 light duty vehicles on the road today ~15,000,000 require premium fuel ~203,000,000 are 2001 & newer and approved by EPA to use E15 ~41,000,000 are explicitly warranted for E15 ~18,000,000 are FFVs (also warranted for E15) ~41,000,000 vehicles are 2000 & older The fact that there are four times as many vehicles fully warranted for the use of E15 than those requiring premium gas today should be a compelling consideration for retailers considering the switch to E15 and E85. Many retailers are shocked to find that they are dedicating an entire fuel tank to premium fuel, which allows them to service fewer vehicles than if they sold E15 and E85. If retailers would consider converting their premium tank to E85 and installing a blender pump to allow for E15, they would gain both segments from one existing underground storage tank. The potential consumer fleet would jump from just 15 million vehicles to 59 million vehicles. Moreover, premium sales have been dropping. Most retailers will concede that premium sales are between 1–4% of their total volume, while stations making the conversion to E85 — and adding E15 — have demonstrated that they can turn that 1–4% into 20–30%. The business case for higher blends of ethanol is actually quite simple. If retailers want to differentiate themselves, lower their consumer price at the pump, increase their overall fuel volumes, boost their in store sales, and ultimately increase their profits … premium might not be the wisest fuel choice. Success will come in the form of higher-level ethanol blends. - See more at: http://www.ethanolrfa.org/exchange/entry/should-premium-fuel-still-warrant-a-tank/#sthash.XOCpltxY.dpuf
  16. The RFA needs your help to promote and update... By Holly Jessen | March 23, 2015 A while ago, I stumbled on a cool website. E85prices.com uses crowd sourced information to give consumers information about retail locations that sell E85 and at what price. As it turns out, I wasn’t the only one with my eye on it. At the end of February, the Renewable Fuels Association announced it acquired that website and another one, E85vehicles.com. In the time since then, the RFA has already made some improvements. Robert White, vice president of industry relations for RFA, told me the first order of business was updating the information at both websites. Since the purchase, RFA has added more than 30 new E85 to the database and work is ongoing add other missing stations. As of today, the website lists 3,455 total U.S. E85 stations in 2,154 cities as well as 291 blender pumps mid- and high-level blends. RFA is also working to add 2015 FFVs to E85vehicles.com. “As for future improvements, we plan to refine the websites and mobile app to be as user-friendly as possible to encourage more people to utilize both,” he said. “All of the important information will remain, but we will streamline and make navigation easier. More announcements will come in the future.” E85vehicles.com offers consumers a way to find out what options they have if they want to purchase a new or used flex-fuel vehicle. It also helps drivers identify if they already own an FFV. Finally, it includes an online forum that’s quite popular already and RFA hopes to introduce to even more people. “It has nearly 2,000 registered users talking about all things ethanol,” White said. “There are racing discussions, conversions, state laws and regs, new station development, FFVs and more. We encourage all interested parties to participate and grow the numbers participating and information shared.” White told me RFA purchased E85prices.com and E85vehicles.com because they were well populated with information. “E85prices.com became a very popular website because there was really nothing else like it available to consumers,” he said, adding that, “E85 supporters tend to be quite enthusiastic about finding and promoting the best E85 prices in their areas.” Last summer, RFA used the data at E85prices.com to point out to the U.S. DOE that their E85 stations database was lacking. At that time the DOE’s Alternative Fuels Data Center database listed nearly 1,000 less E85 stations than the 3,349 E85 stations listed at E85prices.com. “RFA highlighted that not only would this hinder consumers and fleets from finding E85, it is also the data that is used by EPA for setting the annual RVO for the RFS,” he said. “If you miss 30 percent of the stations, numbers can change dramatically, and not to the benefit of the ethanol industry.” However, despite the fact that E85prices.com has the best list of E85 stations available, there is more work to be done. Currently, no E85 prices are reported in more than half of states. While some of those states may have very few or even no E85 stations (Maine is one example), there are more that do have E85 stations that are simply not being reported at E85prices.com. RFA believes this is because consumers in some states simply don’t know about the website, White told me. The organization plans to work to promote the website and ask others, such as RFA members, retail gas stations and partners like the national and state corn growers and American lung association groups, Clean Cities coalitions and others to promote it as well. The goal is to update the data before bringing it to the attention of the DOE again. “We plan to again breakdown the two databases station-by-station and again provide that list to DOE,” he said. “RFA believes it is important, and if it is a matter of resources, DOE should allocate more to this effort.” Here’s another couple of interesting tidbits. Ten other websites were purchased by RFA at the same time. These were websites with domain names that the RFA will use as auto forwards to existing RFA websites. An example of this is a website named blenderpumps.com that now takes people to BYOethanol.com, a website about ethanol blending and blender pumps. Secondly, E85prices.com isn’t limited to listing E85 prices. Prices for E15 and other ethanol blends, such as E20 and E30, can also be recorded at the website. Personally, I plan to register and make sure the information provided about stations in the town I live in is correct and I hope you will too. I think that, plus reporting prices, is a small thing we as individuals can do to help the ethanol industry that could have a potentially big impact. White agreed, telling me that, “the data being reported, both pricing experiences and station updates, is important for the success of the ethanol industry. We will be using the data to help with the RFS debate with policymakers and everyday consumers,” he said. “The more data that is collected, the better the data will be for all of us.” If you are interested, go to E85prices.com and click on the second tab over from the left, Submit E85 Prices. It’s below the red bar that lists the total number of stations and cities E85 and other ethanol blends are sold in.
  17. Pearson Fuels has announced that San Francisco finally has E85. They are hosting a grand opening event tomorrow morning and offering discounted E85 for just $.85/gallon. All Stars Fuel 2831 Cesar Chavez St. San Francisco, CA
  18. As I rolled up to a rail crossing where the first of nearly 100 tanker cars on which flammable warning placards were displayed were just passing, I wondered how closely I should approach. How much room should I give a train transporting that particularly volitile crude from Canada. I read 1987 off the flammable warning placards that every single car displayed, looked it up on my phone and dicovered it wasn't crude oil being transported, but alcohol! That did indeed make me more comfortable and encouraged over the likelihood that the ~3 million gallons of alcohol I saw pass were likely to be mixed with gasoline to make various grades of motorfuel including E85.
  19. Hi, I just caught this short video demo of gasoline and additives damaging plastics more than ethanol. Enjoy, it's a whopping 20 seconds long. I apologize if this has been previously posted here.
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