EPA predicts E15 approval in 2010 despite widespread opposition

As reported by the New York Times, despite widespread opposition and scant results from ongoing testing of vehicles burning E15, the EPA is already predicting it will approve lifting the current limit of ethanol in vehicle fuels from 10% to 15% by the end of 2010.

Admitting that vehicles built before 2001 would need to continue using E10, the EPA suggests that distributors and gas stations would need to offer multiple fuels with differing amounts of ethanol, displaying an astounding naivete as to the difficulty and expense this would entail. Industry groups quoted in the article warn of engine damage and the danger for fire.

While some aircraft engines may operate on E10, no manufacturer recommends the use of the fuel. No aircraft engines are currently approved for E15, and the loss of power that such high levels of ethanol would lead to would likely make flight with E15 unsafe.

The GAfuels Blog is written by three private pilots concerned about the future availability of fuels for piston-engine aircraft. They are:

  • Dean Billing (Sisters, Ore.) – an expert on autogas and ethanol
  • Kent Misegades (Cary, N.C.) – an aerospace engineer and aviation journalist
  • Todd Petersen (Minden, Neb.) – former aerial applicator and owner of more than 150 Mogas STCs for aircraft

For a list of airports that have ethanol-free fuel and those no longer pumping it, compiled by the authors, follow this link.

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