US needs higher octane fuel to meet fuel-economy goals – study

23 February 2012 22:35  [Source: ICIS news]

ORLANDO, Florida (ICIS)--Stricter fuel-economy and emission standards will require US automobiles that use higher octane gasoline, an engineering firm said on Thursday.

The firm, UK-based Ricardo, made its comments in a study commissioned by the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA), a US ethanol trade group.

By 2025, the US will require that the nation's automobile fleet have an average  fuel economy of 54.5 miles/gal (23.2 km/litre). That goal will have to be met in a large part by engines and vehicles that are currently popular.

As such, Ricardo said that three out of every four vehicles will require a gasoline-type, higher octane fuel to operate a growing list of engine technology options. 

“Future powertrain solutions will have a natural thirst for higher octane fuels,” Ricardo said.

“Increasing fuel economy requirements across the US car fleet presents opportunities for high performance, high-octane fuels like ethanol blends,” said RFA chief executive Bob Dinneen at the National Ethanol Conference in Orlando, Florida.

“Rather than being limited to lower ethanol blends like E10 or E15, a thirst for octane from these new engine technologies could open up options for higher blends and be a boon to markets for ethanol-blended fuel," Dinneen said.

The National Ethanol Conference in Orlando runs from 22-24 February.

By: Brian Balboa
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