Is ethanol a good fuel choice?
Ethanol, a renewable fuel, has been blended in gasoline in the U.S. for over 40 years, helping improve air quality, reduce carbon and vehicle emissions, increase our energy independence, and lower fuel prices to consumers, while delivering performance.
One of the primary disadvantages of ethanol is that it is not as energy-dense as gasoline. This means that it has a lower energy content and is less efficient than gasoline. As a result, vehicles that use ethanol as a fuel source may not get as many miles per gallon as those that use gasoline.
Ethanol adds two to three points of octane to ordinary unleaded gasoline, so it boosts the performance of your engine. Because of its high oxygen content, ethanol burns more completely than ordinary unleaded gasoline and reduces harmful tailpipe emissions. Ethanol prevents gas line freeze-up.
Ethanol reacts naturally with oxygen in the air to form acidic compounds which lead to corrosion of fuel system components and engine wear. With the presence of both water and ethanol, corrosion is accelerated in all metal types. Aluminum engine and fuel system parts are very susceptible to ethanol corrosion.
Using pure gas can lead to better mileage. But increased fuel economy from using ethanol-free gas may be offset by its higher cost. Non-ethanol gasoline typically costs more than ethanol-blended varieties. Using non-ethanol gas in your car won't harm the vehicle's engine.
But ethanol causes major issues for consumers, who face loss of mileage, storage issues and a tendency for ethanol to corrode plastic and fiberglass tanks and parts, especially in marine applications.
Critics believe that widespread production of ethanol will result in more land being used to grow corn for fuel rather than for food. They also believe that producing and using ethanol actually does more harm to the environment than good.
Standard Oil began adding ethanol to gasoline to increase octane and to reduce engine knocking.
Ethanol also attracts and bonds with water from the air, and that water can separate inside a fuel tank, forming a brown goo that can clog pumps and filters. E15 is currently available in 30 states at just over 2,000 stations.
Ethanol. Pros: Reduces demand for foreign oil, low emissions, high octane, and can potentially be produced from waste materials; existing cars can use 10-percent blends (called E10), and more than 8 million cars already on the road can use E85. Cons: Twenty-five percent lower fuel economy on E85 than gasoline.
Can a car run on 100% ethanol?
Most cars on the road today in the U.S. can run on blends of up to 15% ethanol, and ethanol represented 10% of the U.S. gasoline fuel supply derived from domestic sources in 2011. Some flexible-fuel vehicles are able to use up to 100% ethanol.
Yes, some cars can run on 100% ethanol. These vehicles are known as flex-fuel vehicles and are designed to run on a blend of gasoline and ethanol, including 100% ethanol.
Ethanol is the most widely available source of gasoline substitute, and reduces greenhouse gas emissions.
Mid-grade gasoline – 89 octane; contains 10% ethanol, known as E10. Premium gasoline – 91 octane; will contain up to 10% ethanol.
Is Premium or Mid-Grade Fuel Worth the Extra Money? Premium gas doesn't provide any more power or contain better additives than regular gas, and it contains the same amount of ethanol as other grades. It just resists detonation (knock) better than lower-octane gas—nothing more, nothing less.
Some people may not like ethanol in their gasoline for a few reasons. Ethanol can potentially cause harm to certain types of engines, particularly older engines and small power equipment such as lawnmowers and chainsaws. Ethanol can attract moisture, which can lead to corrosion and other issues in fuel systems.
In fact, all new cars are not only compatible with E10 but they are optimized to run on it. In the main fuel ethanol consuming markets, vehicle compatibility issues have been overcome. In the U.S., E10 has been approved for use in any conventional gasoline powered vehicle.
Ethanol has lower energy density than gasoline. That means you get fewer miles per tank of gas and reduced engine performance (e.g. less acceleration). Many drivers aren't thrilled about that. Finally, there's no compelling reason to burn ethanol over gasoline.
If moist air gets into the tank, the ethanol will absorb the water and can lead to running problems and rust. Ethanol can also corrode fiberglass and rubber, often found in classic cars. To keep your classic car in great shape, we recommend filling it with non-ethanol gas.
1978: With years of oil embargoes leading to calls for energy security, EPA allows 10% ethanol blend in gasoline. The Energy Tax Act provides a partial exemption for ethanol from federal motor fuel taxes.
How much ethanol does 87 octane have?
87-octane can have no more than 10 percent ethanol. The difference between 87 and 88 is an additional 5% ethanol. This is important because if you have an owner's manual from a vehicle made in 2002-2015, it probably lists the maximum amount of ethanol at up to 10 percent.
E85 is typically cheaper per gallon than gasoline but slightly more expensive per mile. Performance. Drivers should notice no performance loss when using E85. In fact, some FFVs perform better—have more torque and horsepower—running on E85 than on regular gasoline.
Higher octane rating: Ethanol has a higher octane rating than gasoline, which can improve engine performance. Disadvantages: Lower energy content: Ethanol has a lower energy content per gallon compared to gasoline, resulting in reduced fuel efficiency and potentially higher fuel consumption.
It burns more cleanly than gasoline, and helps stretch the finite supply of gas further. However, the mileage in a car isn't as good a regular gas. The gain in air pollution is offset by the lack of mileage, making for an awkward tradeoff, with methanol still out ahead as a fuel.
Ethanol production would have a greater effect on commodity prices and production under tight market conditions of high prices and low stocks for corn than under soft market conditions of low prices and large stocks. Ethanol takes on added importance as an alternative use for corn in times of low export demand.