US decision on ethanol E15 not broad enough, says RFA's Dinneen

29 June 2011 16:26  [Source: ICIS news]

INDIANAPOLIS (ICIS)--The US move to allow ethanol blends of up to 15% (E15) in gasoline was not broad enough because it does not permit the use of E15 in all US vehicles, the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) said on Wednesday.

The RFA’s comment came as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) this week unveiled rules for the use of E15, including a label that will be displayed on pumps dispensing the biofuel. Under the new EPA ruling, E15 can only be used in vehicles manufactured in or after 2001.

This is not what the industry wanted because there is no regulatory reason not to allow E15 for use within older vehicles, said RFA president and CEO Bob Dinneen during a presentation at the 2011 International Fuel Ethanol Workshop & Expo (FEW) in Indianapolis, the US.

The RFA expects E15 to be available in the US by the end of the year.

Dinneen was not pleased with the E15 label, but he did say that the language on it “was not as bad as it could be”.

His statement was in reference to a warning on the label that says ethanol “may” cause damage in vehicles made before 2001, boats or gasoline-powered equipment, such as lawnmowers.

At least the label does not say it “will” cause damage, Dinneen said to delegates.

The ethanol industry claims that E15 is safe for any engine that runs on regular gasoline. Biofuel critics disagree, saying that higher blends of ethanol can impact on performance and also cause damage to certain types of engines.

The four-day FEW conference, which opened on Monday, has attracted 2,000 delegates to Indianapolis.

For more on ethanol, visit ICIS chemical intelligence

By: William Lemos
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