AutoGuide’s regular “Under the Hood” segment has already explained the vagaries of octane and the advantages of Top Tier gasoline, but there’s so much more to fuel than that. Ethanol, for instance, is a major component of gas, and something that’s a potential peril for consumers. But what is ethanol? And what is E85? Should you run these fuels in your vehicle?
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While motorists in North America have had 10 percent ethanol infused gasoline all but forced on them, and Brazil operates almost entirely on E85 biofuel, German motorists have slammed the door shut on the corn-based fuel by simply refusing to purchase gasoline that is made up of 90 percent dino-juice and 10 percent ethanol.
The Super E10 gasoline has an octane rating of 95 , but motorists in Germany are simply purchasing the pricier 98 octane fuel that is devoid of ethanol. The backlash comes from a variety of organizations, ranging from the German ADAC automobile club to Greenpeace, who claim that ethanol can do everything from ruin the mechanical bits of automobiles to increase CO2 production.
While only half of Germany’s gas stations offer the fuel, the problem is so severe that Germany’s Environment Minister is convening a summit to figure out how to deal with the problem. Currently, gas stations are sitting on ample reserves of E10 while the non-ethanol high grades are in short supply.
[Source: The Truth About Cars]
The EPA will announce Friday that it has approved the use of E15 gasoline for vehicles made after the year 2000. The EPA previously approved the added ethanol content for vehicles made after 2007 – the new regulations would see the amount of vehicles able to use E15 grow exponentially, and directly benefit American corn farmers, whose crop is used in the production of ethanol.
The increased use of ethanol has been roundly criticized for its effect on food prices (more corn used for fuel causes the price of maize, a staple crop for much of the world, to rise), its environmental impact and the simple fact that most small engines are not designed for a such a concentration of ethanol.
Although ethanol is touted as a “green” fuel, the higher blends of ethanol in gasoline can have the effect burning out the catalytic converters, resulting in higher emissions.
[Source: Left Lane News]