Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  

Omaha World Herald story on e15

Recommended Posts


Published Thursday October 14, 2010

15 percent ethanol blend coming



By Bob Glissmann


It may take a while before you can buy gasoline with a 15 percent ethanol blend at your nearest gas station. On Wednesday, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced that it had approved what's known as E15 for use in cars manufactured in 2007 or later.  The current maximum blend is 10 percent.


Thorough testing has shown that the higher ethanol concentration “does not harm emissions-control equipment in newer cars and light trucks,” EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson said in a statement.


The ethanol industry welcomed the news, but Nebraska and Iowa ethanol representatives expect more of an impact on the market when the EPA expands its OK for E15 to cars and light trucks built in 2001 or later. That approval is expected in December, after further testing of the corn-based fuel is completed.


About 18 percent of the vehicles on U.S. roads are affected by Wednesday's announcement, said Todd Sneller, administrator of the Nebraska Ethanol Board. “You'd get over 36 percent if (the approval) included the 2001 model year forward,” he said.


Retailers need to be convinced that E15 is a truly viable product for a broad market, said Monte Shaw, executive director of the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association. “We feel that once you get to that larger segment of vehicles, you can look at retailers in the eye and say, ‘This is going to be the No. 1-selling gasoline, and you need to get it out to consumers.”


The EPA's approval, which comes less than a month before November's midterm elections, is politically popular in farm states. But the fuel faces strong opposition from the auto industry, environmentalists, cattle ranchers, food companies and a broad coalition of other groups.


Don Hutchens, executive director of the Nebraska Corn Board, said the EPA announcement is “somewhat of a psychological victory in that it substantiates what we've known all along, which is that (E15) works well in today's automobiles. It sure doesn't go far enough in recognizing the research that has been done” regarding E15 use in cars made before 2007.


Hutchens said Nebraska retailers need to install more blender pumps — which allow consumers to set the percentage of ethanol blend going into their vehicles — that work with up to 85 percent ethanol.


“We're behind other states in getting blenders,” he said. “As the second-largest ethanol-producing state (behind Iowa), we should have a lot more.”


Opponents say that the increase in production of corn and its diversion into ethanol is making animal feed more expensive, raising prices at the grocery store and tearing up the land. Manufacturers of smaller engines — used in everything from lawn mowers to boats — also oppose increasing the use of the fuel, saying those engines are not designed for the higher ethanol concentrations.


The Obama administration has remained supportive of ethanol, and the EPA has said a congressional mandate for increased ethanol use can't be achieved without allowing higher blends. Congress has required refiners to blend 36 billion gallons of biofuels, mostly ethanol, into auto fuel by 2022. The annual level is about 12 billion gallons now, Sneller said.


Darrell Bush, who for 30 years has trained automotive technicians at Omaha's Metro Community College, said that aside from a slight decrease in gas mileage, most consumers won't notice a difference in their cars' performance in switching from E10 to E15.


Bush said that he has used E10 in lawn mowers and weed trimmers, something that could void one's warranty on such products. “I haven't noticed any difference at all” in terms of performance between ethanol and regular gas, he said.


Sneller, of the Nebraska Ethanol Board, said more focus needs to be placed on flex-fuel vehicles that can run on blends of up to 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline. More than 8 million such vehicles are on the road today, he said, and automakers have pledged to produce at least 50 percent of their models as flex-fuel vehicles by 2012.


As for the price of ethanol vs. regular gas, Shaw of the Iowa renewable fuels group said ethanol still is a cost-effective fuel, even with high corn prices.


“Clearly, to make E15 a reality, it needs to be cheaper than gasoline,” Shaw said. “That's what's going to encourage retailers to put it in. That's what's going to encourage consumers to buy it.”


This report includes material from the Associated Press.


the print story (not online version) had a brief statement from the 4 Senators, and 2 Governor of Iowa and Nebraska, as well as the Representative from eastern Nebraska and western Iowa about the bill...


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Not that I am against butanol but with all the racket made for E15 and suits filed by API, the Meat Monsters, and tiny engine makers, plus the breadmakers, etc ----where is the racket over this quiet little news bit;


Oh thats right- it can go into gas without any discomfort to the oil majors-- :laugh:


By the way- corn fell 30 cents (limit) today. ;)




Gevo's Isobutanol Secures EPA Registration;

First Isobutanol to Receive Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Registration as a Fuel Additive;






Gevo , Inc., a privately held renewable chemicals and advanced biofuels company, announced today that it received notification that its isobutanol had successfully cleared registration with the U.S. EPA as a fuel additive. Gevo's isobutanol is the first isobutanol to be listed in the EPA's Fuel Registration Directory and is now approved for blending with gasoline.


"We've taken another important step in commercializing our product in the near term," said Gevo CEO Dr. Patrick Gruber. "Along with the chemicals market, selling isobutanol as a low Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) biofuel blendstock is one of our most important opportunities."


Gevo believes isobutanol is a very attractive alcohol fuel gasoline blendstock. It has higher energy density than ethanol and lower RVP. RVP is regulated by the EPA under the Clean Air Act. Low RVP gasoline blends are required in many urban areas in order to comply with state level ozone attainment plans. Under the Renewable Fuel Standard II, isobutanol qualifies for 30 percent more renewable fuel value or Renewable Identification Number (RIN) than ethanol for obligated parties. Isobutanol has characteristics that make it an attractive alternative to other gasoline components like alkylate and aromatics, which should enable refiners to modify their gasoline formulation in ways that increase their operating margins. These various attributes also provide refiners with valuable options in meeting their clean air and renewable fuel obligations.


Gevo's isobutanol can be used directly as a specialty chemical, as a gasoline and jet fuel blendstock, and through conversion into plastics, fibers, rubber and other polymers. Gevo will soon begin the retrofit of its first 22 million gallons per year (MPGY) ethanol facility in Luverne, MN to produce 18 MGPY of isobutanol. The Company plans to expand its isobutanol production via the retrofit of additional ethanol facilities over the next few years. In the future, Gevo intends to produce cellulosic isobutanol once biomass conversion technology is commercially available.


About Gevo


Gevo is developing capital efficient biorefinery systems to provide renewable, cost-effective building block products to the fuel and chemical industries. The Company seeks to convert renewable raw materials into isobutanol and renewable hydrocarbons that can be directly integrated on a "drop in" basis into existing fuel and chemical products to deliver environmental and economic benefits. Gevo is committed to a sustainable biobased economy that meets society's needs for plentiful food and clean air and water. For more information, visit www.gevo.com .




CONTACT: Schwartz Communications

Shweta Agarwal, 781-684-0770





Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Bio-butanol fuel is getting attention. One company has business plan set upon converting ethanol plants to flexible plants capable of producing ethanol or  Isobutanol fuel. EPA regulated isobutanol to higher fuel mix ratio's as compared to ethanol. Some are proposing to blend both ethanol and butanol to unleaded as the combination behaves to limit vapor emissions among other advantages.


Alternative energy will develop upon market forces as artificial support will dwindle over time. Phase one of market development has tremendous optimism and many businesses racing to market their talents. Phase two appears when these business struggle to attract loyal paying customers. These business have a limited window of opportunity to make it successful. Artificial support (thank you U.S. taxpayer) job or benefit is to widen this door of opportunity so we as a nation do not lose good solutions. It's a dangerous endeavor as central control is very incompetent in awarding winner status to business. The business of government is loaded with politics, cronyism, and, corruption. This is the danger zone where petrol has maximum influence to pull the rug from the competition. Ethanol is somewhere between phase one and phase two as they continue to struggle to maximize cost effectiveness, efficiencies, product quality, consumer information, marketing, advertising, product availability, etc.


Government regulators have it backwards, mho, as they race to curtail and control, limit, and heap piles of expense upon product startup. They try to force the technology to their limited vision and old formulas. They pick single elements to control and are blind to overall synergy of best value. They act as if capitol is of no concern nor overall benefit of expensive solutions. Meaning, they see no problem within the process of heaping evermore expense on dwindling environmental benefits. Also, they are motivated to government control solutions and totally blinded to the bigger value of market solutions.


So, in an ideal world best if the country leadership would put forth a challenge to lead the nation away from danger and toward opportunity. To place incentives such within regulation and lack of regulations to grease the product development skids. To offer low cost capital and co-sign for risky startups.  To make sure no corporation shenanigans afoot to do harm to small business competition.  And finally to be good investors with public resources, but try not to prejudge or corrupt the natural development of markets. They have no superior intellect to know the future. 

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
EPA regulated isobutanol to higher fuel mix ratio's as compared to ethanol.


I believe the limit is set at 12.5%. At least that is what the ASTM is a writing standards for.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Blending butanol with ethanol blended gasoline improves the fuel. The tri-mix superior  fuel. Blending both ethanol and butanol may be an easier path to higher concentrations of alcohols within national fuel supply. IOWs blends much higher than E15 for nations unleaded fuel fleet. Also, the butanol can enter into diesel fuel market. The process has several co-products that open up new markets for our ethanol bio-refineries.  Best condition would be a flex production facility capable capable of both butanol and ethanol and a tri-blend fuel supply?     


Some tidbits from articles:




It can be produced from biomass (Bio Biobutanol) as well as fossil fuels.


The process also creates a recoverable amount of H2 and a number of other by-products: acetic, lactic and propionic acids, acetone, isopropanol and ethanol.


The difference from ethanol production is primarily in the fermentation of the feedstock — producing butanol rather than ethanol like primary fermentation product and minor changes in distillation. The feedstocks are the same as for ethanol. According to DuPont, existing bioethanol plants can cost-effectively be retrofitted to biobutanol production.


Butanol better tolerates water contamination and is less corrosive than ethanol and more suitable for distribution through existing pipelines for gasoline. In blends with diesel or gasoline, butanol is less likely to separate from this fuel than ethanol if the fuel is contaminated with water. There is also a vapor pressure co-blend synergy with butanol and gasoline containing ethanol, which facilitates ethanol blending. This facilitates storage and distribution of blended fuels.



Switching a gasoline engine over to butanol would in theory result in a fuel consumption penalty of about 10%, but butanol's effect on mileage is yet to be determined by a scientific study. The octane rating of n-butanol is very similar to that of gasoline


Compared to ethanol, butanol can be mixed in higher ratios with gasoline for use in existing cars without the need for retrofit as the air-fuel ratio and energy content is closer to that of gasoline.


The kinematic viscosity of butanol is several times higher than that of gasoline and about as viscous as high quality diesel fuel.


The fuel in an engine has to be vaporized before it will burn. Insufficient vaporization is a known problem with alcohol fuels during cold starts in cold weather. As the latent heat of vaporization of butanol is less than half of that of ethanol, an engine running on butanol should be easier to start in cold weather than one running on ethanol or methanol.


Common International ethanol fuel mixtures for fuel sold as gasoline currently range from 5% to 20%. The share of butanol can be 60% greater than the equivalent ethanol share, which gives a range from 8% to 32%. "Equivalent" in this case refers only to the vehicles ability to adjust to the fuel. Other properties such as energy density, viscosity and heat of vaporization will vary and may further limit the percentage of butanol that can be blended with gasoline.


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

The oil companies desperately want biobutanol.  They can ship it through their existing pipelines, and maintain their monopoly status.  It's a doubtful proposition, though.  It's considerably more expensive to produce, and of no real benefit, that I can see, to the consumer.  I'm skeptical.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

  • Create New...