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October 9, 2010
We agree with those who believe that American drivers should not be exposed to fuel blends that are untested and are possibly unsafe. That’s why the National Corn Growers Association and its 36,000 members strongly support the EPA’s approval of E-15 for motor vehicles – a fuel blend that has been thoroughly tested.
In September 2010, the automotive engineering firm Ricardo found that moving from 10 percent ethanol in gasoline to 15 percent will mean little, if any, change in the performance of older cars and light trucks, those manufactured between 1994 and 2000. This study analyzed the vehicles manufactured by six companies and that represent 25 percent of light duty vehicles on the road today, concluded “that the adoption and use of E-15 in the motor vehicle fleet from the studied model years should not adversely affect these vehicles or cause them to perform in a suboptimal manner when compared with their performance using the E-10 blend that is currently available.”
In a February 2009 report, Oak Ridge National Laboratory for the U.S. Department of Energy performed a peer-reviewed study regarding the effects of E-15 and E-20 on motor vehicles and small non-road engines. This research concludes that when E-15 and E-20 were compared to traditional gasoline, there are no significant changes in vehicle tailpipe emissions, vehicle driveability, or small non-road engine emissions as ethanol content increased.
A major 2008 report was prepared by the State of Minnesota.
• It compared the effects of E-0, E-10 and E-20 on nineteen metals and found that the metals tested were compatible with all three fuels;
• It compared the effects of E-0, E-10 and E-20 on eight elastomers and found that E-20 caused no greater change in properties than E-0 or E-10;
• It compared the effects of E-0, E-10 and E-20 on eight plastics and found that there was no significant difference in the properties of the samples exposed to E-20 and E-10;
• It compared the effects of E-0, E-10 and E-20 on the performance of twenty-four fuel pumps and nine sending units and found that E-20 has similar effect as E-10 and E-0 on fuel pumps and sending units;
• And it tested forty pairs of vehicles on E-0 and E-20 and found no driveability or operational issues with either fuel.
An October 2008 report to the U.S. Senate on E-20 ethanol research, prepared by the Rochester Institute of Technology, evaluated the effects of E-20 on ten legacy vehicles. Initial results after 75,000 collective miles driven found no fuel-related failures or significant vehicle problems and documented reductions in regulated tailpipe emissions when using E-20 compared to E-0.
In October 2007, a report prepared by the Energy & Environmental Research Center and Minnesota Center for Automotive Research studied the effects of ethanol blends ranging from E-10 to E-85 on motor vehicles and found that exhaust emissions levels for all vehicles at all levels of ethanol blend were within the applicable Clean Air Act standards.
In December 2006, a report by the Coordinating Research Council evaluated the effects of E-0, E-6, E-20 and E-85 on the evaporative emissions rates from permeation in five newer California vehicles and found that there was no statistically significant increase in diurnal permeation rates between E-6 and E-20.
A 2004-05 research project by Stockholm University tested and compared evaporative emissions from E-0, E-5, E-10, and E-15 and found lower total hydrocarbon emissions and lower evaporative emissions from E-15 than from E-10 and E-5.
A July 1999 study by the Minnesota Center for Automotive Research evaluated the effects of E-10 and E-30 in fifteen older vehicles in “real world” driving conditions. It found no effect on driveability or component compatibility from either fuel and found that regulated exhaust emissions from both fuels were well below federal standards.