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Black Knight

E85 pumps being replaced with E15 ?!

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This has been argued or discussed at length even with E10. One side wants an alternative fuel and not merely a additive. The other side wants volume sales and the easiest way to get this is by low percentage ethanol that is acceptable for all model cars and consumers. I like the additive choice as our current fleet of gas engines just can not exploit E85 fuel for maximum value of high octane fuel. The consumer doesn't see much savings as a result nor boost in power. E85 actually within the current car fleets looks inferior to plain gasoline, mainly per the MPG measure. By laws and vehicle design only a low percentage of vehicles can fuel up on E85, so the ethanol experience goes underutilized by majority of public other than E10. Retailers are thinking that E15 will eventually becomes widely accepted per the attractive lower cost. This fuel appears to be a more acceptable stepping stone for majority of public. The fuel will have higher octane as compared to E10 and the engine should operated more robust. Modern cars have ability to exploit E15 higher octane for efficiency improvement. Other than two cycle engines, every gasoline engine out there can run better with E15. E15 will provide an positive experience for consumer especially since the race cars run on the stuff.

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Raising the minimum octane of gasoline (97?) sold in the USA would support higher compression engines (14:1?) and...enable these same engines to benefit from full usage of E85 with improved mpg/efficiency for any fuel type.      I would favor this type of movement rather than moving onto E15 as a base fuel.   Naturally there would have to be a four-five year lead in for the auto companies to design and develop these higher compression engines.   Downside would be the cost component for the new engines and fuel.

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One must understand that to maximise E85 fuel benifit, a totally new engine is required. Read the California E85 Cummins engine design to understand, were talking of a engine that is half the displacement of diesel and yet requires more strength. An engine that could blow the doors off of a plain gasoline engine in both mileage and horsepower yet blow the doors off of diesel as compared to torque. The fuel has incredible power. The limitation or challenge is to engineer the engine to maximise ethanol power and not to just marginally provide the ability to flex to the fuel with whippy gasoline. If ever that happen, it would be game over to gasoline or diesel fuel. That is why a puny 15 billion gallon per year additive is such a concer of petrol. Other than a totally new engineered vehicle to exploit the value of ethanol, were stuck with a marginal improvement of E15 as a stepping stone to convince consumers of ethanol value or if automotive gets it's way a more efficient engine powered upon super premium E30.

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I'll pass on E15. Considering most of the time fuel labeled "E85" isn't really 85% ethanol anyway... "E15" probably is only E10 at best. E10 labeled here is "may contain UP TO 10% ethanol... meaning 0-10%. E15 probably will have the same "wiggle room" so it could be just E10 anyway. Not worth it for me to expend the calories it takes to pick up an E15 pump handle much less the $$ it would cost buying it since it's basically E10 anyway.

 

Most engines can't take FULL advantage of gasoline much less ethanol. It's 2017 and some people are impressed with hybrids getting 40+MPG whereas they should NOT be. Economy cars with gasoline engines 30 years ago were getting 30+MPG, same as today. Oil companies are in charge here.

 

I theoretically splash blend E25-E40 in my vehicles that are not labeled "flex fuel" and I get the same economy as E10 and get better performance than on E10. These vehicles are driven at 5280 feet above sea level so there is less of a need for a richer fuel mixture so they are not running lean. They are not high performance vehicles with high compression. It's a theoretical blend of E25-E40 because E85 in my area is 51%-85% ethanol content and I don't bother testing. I just assume winter blend of E68 and summer E85.

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It is my understanding that the fuels labeled E15, E10 must be that.  They can not vary in percentage depending upon the season of the year like E85 can.  This has been stated on this forum in the past from several well known individuals. 

 

As for redesigning engines to take advantage of ethanol and higher octane fuel(s), the knowledge already exists.  Sad story.

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