Second thoughts on ethanol

The GAfuels Blog is written by two private pilots concerned about the future availability of fuels for piston-engine aircraft: Dean Billing, Sisters, Ore., an expert on autogas and ethanol, and Kent Misegades, Cary, N.C., an aerospace engineer and aviation journalist.

In the rapidly-developing debate over future aviation fuels, Mogas is gaining in popularity, as seen in the hundreds of comments on our petition to the EPA to ban the use of ethanol in Premium (91 AKI octane) gasoline. Now it seems that the EPA itself and even former Vice President Al Gore are having second thoughts about ethanol’s use as a fuel.

According to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, the EPA has admitted that the ethanol industry will not be able to meet a quota of 250 million gallons in 2011 for so-called cellulosic ethanol, the kind made from sources other than corn. In a clear indication of the unrealistic estimates included in the EISA 2007 law that set these quotas, the EPA has reduced it to only 6.6 million gallons, less that 3% of the original mandate.

Even the former vice president has weighed in on the subject, “conceding that the industry he prompted serves no purpose,” according to another WSJ article.

Hopefully the EPA will reexamine the entire ethanol mandate, reduce it to realistic levels, and prohibit ethanol’s use in Premium, securing a supply of pure gas for the millions of Americans who need it.


  1. Raymundo Chambers says

    I have been in Oid Industry 40 yrs. & know Ethanol . water is in it by nature & the Evaporation rate is horrible also it is a super scruber , had to use nickle finished Nozzles on Fuel Dispensers or it destroyed them.

  2. says

    Ethanol from corn is very dumb fuel technology. It only exists because the idea was heavily promoted to Congress by the huge ag lobby to ‘stabilize’ demand for corn and corn price levels. Now our problem is the bureaucracy. Once the Feds start mandating things, it’s very difficult to get them to change direction without a serious effort. At one point, some bureaucrat will have to admit he or she was wrong to promote and adopt the idea. Bureaucrats really don’t like doing that sort of thing.

  3. Lardo says

    Better yet, we’ll dump the whole ethanol idea entirely. Seeing as it take more energy to produce & ship it, than we get out of it.

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