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E15 May Have 'Negligible' Impact on Ethanol

E15 May Have 'Negligible' Impact on Ethanol
Too few stations, too few cars means that consumption won't likely grow much.

E15's impact on the ethanol fuel market will likely be "negligible," says Cole Gustafson, NDSU Extension biofuels economist, who writes a regular column on the renewable energy topics.

E15 is a 15% blend of ethanol to gasoline. EPA recently approved increasing the amount of ethanol that can be used in 2007 model and newer vehicles from10% to 15%.

"While this is a positive development for the industry, the initial impact of the regulatory change will be small for several reasons," Gustafson says.

E15 won't be widely available. Not many stations currently have blender pumps.

It will take time to educate consumers on the benefits of E15.

Liability protection for retailers may need to be developed in case damage occurs if E15 is accidently placed in a pre-2007 vehicle.

2007 and newer vehicles only make up 20-25% of the light -duty vehicle fleet.

"If every single 2007 and newer vehicle in America used E15 every time, the theoretical market for ethanol would grow by just 1.4 billion to 1.6 billion gallons," Gustafson says. "Mandated biofuel production is expected to grow at an even faster rate than this increase in consumption."

Read Gustafson's complete column at

Source: NDSU Extension Communication

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