Ethanol in gas? (TOP 5 Tips)

  • There are three general categories of ethanol-gasoline blends: E10, E15, and E85. E10 is gasoline with 10% ethanol content. E15 is gasoline with 15% ethanol content, and E85 is a fuel that may contain up to 85% fuel ethanol.

Is it bad to have ethanol in gas?

In automobiles, ethanol fuel won’t do much harm to your car’s engine. However, when you’re using gas with ethanol mixture in your outdoor power equipment, like lawn mowers, chainsaws, trimmers and leaf blowers, you run the risk of engine damage and incurring costly repairs.

What is the benefit of ethanol in gas?

Ethanol adds two to three points of octane to ordinary unleaded gasoline, so it boosts the performance of your engine. Because of its high oxygen content, ethanol burns more completely than ordinary unleaded gasoline and reduces harmful tailpipe emissions. Ethanol prevents gas line freeze-up.

Is ethanol-free gas better?

While not as popular as the ethanol blends, pure gas may be preferable for older car engines, as well as boats, lawn mowers or other tools. Ethanol-free gas also gets better fuel economy. However, most drivers use the E10 or E15 blends, with 10-15% ethanol. That ethanol content only reduces gas mileage by around 5%.

Does 93 octane have ethanol?

All gasoline brands have both pure and ethanol-containing gasoline under the same brand names. For example, Shell V-Power ranges from 91 to 93 octane both with and without added ethanol. It just varies from station to station, and it’s up to the station owner whether or not to sell pure gas.

What are the pros and cons of ethanol?

Ethanol. Pros: Reduces demand for foreign oil, low emissions, high octane, and can potentially be produced from waste materials; existing cars can use 10-percent blends (called E10), and more than 8 million cars already on the road can use E85. Cons: Twenty-five percent lower fuel economy on E85 than gasoline.

Why is ethanol bad for engines?

Boatyards and marine engine dealers warn that gas blended with ethanol can cause motors to stop working, ruin rubber components in the engine’s fuel system and damage engine parts. The gas softens rubber components in the engine, some of which may dissolve and gum up the system.

Why should we not use ethanol?

Ethanol and ethanol-gasoline mixtures burn cleaner and have higher octane levels than pure gasoline, but they also have higher evaporative emissions from fuel tanks and dispensing equipment. These evaporative emissions contribute to the formation of harmful, ground-level ozone and smog.

Who needs ethanol?

It’s more affordable than traditional gasoline, reduces harmful vehicle emissions, supports nearly 300,000 American jobs, and protects America’s energy independence. In 2020, ethanol helped protect America’s energy independence by displacing nearly 500 million barrels of crude oil.

Does all gasoline contain ethanol?

Ethanol is a renewable fuel made from various plant materials collectively known as “biomass.” More than 98% of U.S. gasoline contains ethanol, typically E10 (10% ethanol, 90% gasoline), to oxygenate the fuel, which reduces air pollution.

Can you drink ethanol?

The only type of alcohol that humans can safely drink is ethanol. We use the other two types of alcohol for cleaning and manufacturing, not for making drinks. For example, methanol (or methyl alcohol) is a component in fuel for cars and boats.

Is ethanol more expensive than gasoline?

The cost of E85 relative to gasoline or E10 can vary due to location and fluctuations in energy markets. E85 is typically cheaper per gallon than gasoline but slightly more expensive per mile.

Why is ethanol free gas so expensive?

Each year, the laws require that the number of gallons of blended gasoline increase. As a result, pipelines are sending refineries sub-octane gas that needs ethanol or premium gasoline blended with it before it goes on sale. As refineries start to cut this amount of pure gas, it is becoming scarcer and more expensive.

Which premium gas has no ethanol?

Premium 91: Premium 91 is a clear gasoline with no ethanol added for power equipment and other small carbureted engines. Its best use is in recreational vehicles, motorcycles, boats and outdoor equipment.

Can you run ethanol free in a regular engine?

The short answer is, no, ethanol-free gasoline is not bad for your car. Most cars today can run on ethanol gas blends up to E15 (15% ethanol) and on non-ethanol gasoline. And flex fuel vehicles can handle up to E85 (85% ethanol) without a problem.

Alternative Fuels Data Center: Ethanol Fuel Basics

It is a renewable fuel that is produced from a variety of plant components generally referred to as “biomass.” More than 98 percent of gasoline sold in the United States contains ethanol, often in the form of E10 (10 percent ethanol, 90 percent gasoline), which helps to oxygenate the fuel and minimize air pollution. Ethanol is also available in the form of E85 (also known as flex fuel), which may be used in flexible fuel cars, which are vehicles that can run on any combination of gasoline and ethanol up to 83 percent.

In order for ethanol to be used as a car fuel, a number of procedures must first be completed.

  • Plants are cultivated, harvested, and delivered to an ethanol manufacturing plant
  • This is known as biomass feedstock. ethanol is produced at a production plant and then transported to a fuel terminal or end-user via rail, truck, or barge
  • This process is known as the fermentation process. In contrast to E10, which is obtained via fuel terminals, E85 is obtained either from a terminal or straight from an ethanol manufacturing plant. There are two ways to get E15: via gasoline terminals or through a blender pump dispenser that pulls from both E10 and E85 tanks at a station.

Fuel Properties

Ethanol (CH 3 CH 2 OH) is a clear, colorless liquid that has a sweet taste. The chemical compound is also known by the names ethyl alcohol, grain alcohol, and EtOH (seeFuel Properties search.) There is no chemical difference between ethanol produced from starch- or sugar-based feedstocks, such as corn grain (which is what is primarily used in the United States), sugar cane (which is what is primarily used in Brazil), or ethanol produced from cellulosic feedstocks (which are what is primarily used in Europe) (such as wood chips or crop residues).

Ethanol has a higher octane rating than gasoline, which allows it to have superior mixing characteristics.

Lower-octane gasoline is combined with ten percent ethanol to get the typical 87 octane rating on the pump.

Per gallon of denatured ethanol (98 percent ethanol), approximately 30 percent less energy is contained than in gasoline.

Ethanol Energy Balance

In the United States, maize grain starch is used to make ethanol, which accounts for 94 percent of total production. Any raw material must be converted into ethanol, which requires the use of energy. Ethanol produced from corn has a positive energy balance, which means that the process of producing ethanol fuel does not consume any more energy than the amount of energy contained in the fuel itself. Ethanol produced from other sources has a negative energy balance, which means that it consumes more energy than it produces.

Increased usage of biomass to power the process of converting non-food-based feedstocks into cellulosic ethanol results in even greater reductions in the quantity of fossil fuel energy required for production.

Another advantage of cellulosic ethanol is that production results in reduced levels of greenhouse gas emissions over the course of its life cycle. Please see the following publications for further information on ethanol’s energy balance:

  • A Life-Cycle Analysis of the Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Corn-Based Ethanol, published by the United States Department of Agriculture in 2018. The GREET Model (Greenhouse Gases, Regulated Emissions, and Energy Use in Transportation Model) developed by Argonne National Laboratory
  • The USDA’s 2015 – Energy Balance for the Corn-Ethanol Industry
  • And the Argonne National Laboratory’s GREET Model.

What are the Effects of Ethanol in Gasoline and How to Protect Your Engines Against Them

Ethanol is included in the majority of gasoline sold in the United States today, and the proportion is likely to rise in the coming years as demand increases. During distribution to gas stations, gasoline and ethanol are delivered separately and mixed together at the gas station during delivery. So, what are the consequences of ethanol in gasoline, and what can you do to ensure that your engines run on ethanol-blend fuel last longer?

The Potential Problems

Ethanol is added to gasoline as mandated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in order to reduce carbon emissions and make the operation of such engines more environmentally friendly. If ethanol-blended fuels are not handled, they might begin to “phasing.” Phase separation occurs when ethanol in the fuel absorbs an excessive amount of water and separates from the gasoline by settling to the bottom of the tank because the ethanol and water mixture that arises from phase separation is heavier than the gasoline it separates from.

  • A gasoline tank must be drained if phase separation has occurred since no additive can reverse the process after it has taken place.
  • Pump-out services are provided by mechanics in order to drain and cleanse the gasoline system.
  • The most straightforward method of preventing phase separation is to maintain the tank almost full at all times, leaving a small amount of room for the gasoline to expand in warmer conditions.
  • If you’re dealing with equipment that has a “Open” fuel system, such as many tiny non-road engines and watercraft, this is extremely vital to remember.
  • Every time you fill the tank, it is important to add a gasoline additive that protects against corrosion.
  • A third concern is that ethanol has the potential to dislodge material that generally forms in the corners of the fuel tank, which might result in blocked fuel systems in the future.
  • The third point to keep in mind is that gasoline “oxidizes” when it is exposed to oxygen.
  • Use of an additive that will handle all of these difficulties will allow you to enjoy your gasoline-powered small engines and/or boat for many years to come with no stress and anxiety.

The good news is that E-10 has been in widespread use in many parts of the country for more than 25 years, which means there are tried and true methods of protecting your engines against the possible threats we have discussed.

The following is a short list of things you can do to protect your equipment:

  • Keep your fuel system running at all times with a non-alcoholic fuel stabilizer and treatment. Particularly recommended for engines that have been idle for an extended period of time
  • – The greater the amount of time a vehicle or piece of equipment is used, the less likely it is to develop problems
  • – If you aren’t planning on using it for a while, keep your tank 95 percent full to avoid condensation while still allowing room for growth. It is critical to prevent water from entering your fuel system
  • – If you want to ensure that you are getting fresh gasoline, only purchase fuel from a reputable gas station with a high turnover of product. It is recommended to inspect and possibly replace rubber fuel lines that are older than the mid-to-late 1980s because they may not be compatible with ethanol fuel.

STA-BIL® Ethanol Treatments

There is a component in these formulations that absorbs water, which helps to keep phase separation at bay. They employ a water remover that is non-alcohol based and forms bonds with water molecules, enabling excess water to travel through the engine and out the exhaust without causing harm. Please keep in mind that having a considerable amount of water in a gasoline tank might result in decreased power acceleration, if not engine damage and failure altogether. If there is an excessive amount of water in the fuel tank, the tank will need to be emptied and refilled with new gasoline and additive.

  • When a tank is going to be sitting unused for any length of time, it is critical to maintain it fully stocked in order to assist lessen the quantity of water in it.
  • These treatments are intended to protect ethanol-blended fuels against water attraction, varnish development, and corrosion by inhibiting the production of varnish.
  • The Ethanol Treatments, like the Fuel Stabilizer, provide protection for fuel for up to 12 months.
  • Image Submitted by –canonsnapper

Why Is Ethanol Added to Gas?

The fact that an automobile cannot operate without gasoline is well known. Fuel firms have been alerting customers that their gas includes ethanol for the past couple of decades. Some types of gas contain a higher concentration of ethanol than others. And while the majority of individuals were unaware of what ethanol was or why it was suddenly being added to gasoline, they guessed that it must be significant in some manner. So, what exactly is ethanol, and why is it included in gasoline? Here’s all you need to know about this renewable resource, organized by topic.

What is ethanol?

Ethanol is, at its core, a kind of alcohol. Ethanol is often derived from fermented corn and may be found in a wide variety of alcoholic beverages. The sort of ethanol that is used in gasoline is a little different from the type of ethanol used in conventional alcoholic beverages. In order to make the ethanol appropriate for use in automobiles, it is sent to a different refinery where additional chemicals are added to make it suitable for use. As soon as this occurs, it is no longer appropriate for consumption by people, yet it is completely suitable for use in cars.

For example, sugar cane is used to produce the majority of the ethanol gas used in Brazil.

See also:  Test an alternator - the safe way? (Suits you)

The fact that it is derived from natural resources means that it burns somewhat more cleanly and releases less pollutants than ordinary gas by itself.

“The following attributes are allowed: src=” frameborder=”0″ allow=”accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture; picture-in-picture” “allowfullscreen=” allows you to use the entire screen “> The following is an example of a formalized formalized formalized

Why is ethanol added to gasoline?

The Clean Air Act, which was enacted in 1977, was updated by Congress in 1990. The new changes required petroleum corporations to develop a new method of producing a cleaner-burning gasoline that did not emit as many hazardous particles that were harming the Earth’s ozone layer. One method of accomplishing this was to add oxygen to the gasoline in order to make it burn more efficiently. One of the first solutions that several firms came up with was the usage of a chemical molecule known as dimethyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE) (MTBE).

Even more concerning, tiny quantities of the chemical were found in the drinking water of certain California residents.

When ethanol was first introduced as a fuel for automobiles, it wasn’t a novel notion.

When an acre of potatoes is harvested in one year, there is enough alcohol in that produce to power the machinery required to farm the fields for a hundred years.” Ford was accurate in anticipating that ethanol will be one of the greatest sources of renewable fuels for a wide range of cars, even though we are not now fuelling our vehicles with 100 percent ethanol.

Can all car engines run on ethanol?

The following attributes are allowed: ” src=” frameborder=”0″ allow=”accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture; picture-in-picture; picture-in-picture;” allowfullscreen=””> Currently, ethanol is included in around 97 percent of all gasoline sold in the United States. A variety of ethanol gas options are available, including E85, which includes 85 percent ethanol, E10, which contains 10 percent ethanol, and E15, which contains 15 percent ethanol, as you have probably figured by now.

These automobiles are referred to as flex-fuel automobiles.

It’s possible that some of the old rubber lines in the engine will need to be replaced before you can run the engine with a more oxygenated gas if the engine is older than that.

In addition to being beneficial to the environment, it may also aid the environment by emitting less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

Scientists and researchers are continuing to make significant advances in the development of various forms of biofuels for use in automobiles. Our planet will be safer and cleaner for decades to come as a result of the tremendous advances being made in the clean-burning fuels business.


Corn, sugar cane, and grasses are examples of plant materials that can be used to make ethanol, which is a sustainable, domestically generated alcohol fuel. The usage of ethanol can help to minimize reliance on foreign oil as well as greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The usage of ethanol as a fuel in the United States has expanded considerably, from around 1.7 billion gallons in 2001 to over 12.6 billion gallons in 2020. 1

E10 and E15

E10 and E15 are gasoline mixes that contain a percentage of ethanol. The quantity after the “E” represents the proportion of ethanol in the mixture by volume. The majority of gasoline marketed in the United States includes up to 10 percent ethanol, with the percentage varying from area to region. All automobile manufacturers permit gasoline mixes up to E10 in their gasoline-powered cars. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) began authorizing the use of E15 in gasoline automobiles starting with model year 2001 and newer in 2011.

The maximum ethanol level advised by the OEM for a particular vehicle may be specified in the vehicle’s owner handbook.

Because of this, automobiles usually get 3 to 4 percentage points fewer miles per gallon on E10 and 4 percent to 5 percentage points fewer miles per gallon on E15 than they do on pure gasoline.

E85 (Flex Fuel)

E85, also known as flex fuel, is an ethanol-gasoline blend that contains anywhere from 51 percent to 83 percent ethanol, depending on the region and time of year. Summer blends often include more ethanol, whilst winter blends typically contain less. In FFVs, which are expressly engineered to run on gasoline, E85, or a blend of the two, E85 can be used in place of gasoline. FFVs are available from a number of different automakers. We’ve put up a simple guide to assist you in determining whether or not your car can operate on flex fuel.

  1. Because ethanol has a lower energy content than gasoline, FFVs that run on E85 get between 15 and 27 percent less miles per gallon than when they run on ordinary gasoline, depending on the amount of ethanol in the fuel.
  2. 5Cost.
  3. E85 is normally less expensive per gallon than gasoline, however it is somewhat more expensive per mile driven than gasoline.
  4. When driving with E85, drivers should notice no difference in performance.
  5. 6,7,8 Availability.
  6. For information on alternative fueling stations, please see the Alternative Fueling Station Locator.
AdvantagesDisadvantages of E85

Advantages Disadvantages
  • Produced in the United States (which decreases reliance on foreign oil)
  • Lower emissions of some air pollutants
  • More resistant to engine knock
  • The additional cost of the car is minor
  • Only flex-fuel cars may make use of this fuel
  • Reduced energy content (resulting in worse gas mileage)
  • Limited availability

MotorWeek Videos

Maryland Public Television has presented pieces for MotorWeek this year.

More Information

Information on the fuel economy of ethanol flexible fuel vehicles may be found at the CarAlternative Fuels Data Center.

  • Fuels for the Future: Ethanol
  • Alternative Fuel Vehicles: Ethanol Vehicles
  • Alternative Fueling Station Locator

Environmental Protection Agency.E15: Frequently Asked Questions (Frequently Asked Questions). Take a look at the data sources.

  1. EIA, 2021.Monthly Energy Review, July 2021, p. 181
  2. EPA, Notice Of Decision Granting A Partial Waiver, Notice Of Decision Granting A Partial Waiver. A decision by the Administrator, Federal Register, vol. 76, no. 17 (January 26, 2011), p. 4662, “Partial Grant of Clean Air Act Waiver Application Submitted by Growth Energy to Increase the Allowable Ethanol Content of Gasoline to 15 Percent
  3. Decision of the Administrator,” Federal Register, vol. 76, no. 17 (January 26, 2011), p. 4662
  4. 2009, K. Knoll, B. West, W. Clark, R. Graves, J. Orban, S. Przesmitzki, and T. Theiss published a paper titled Report 1 on the Environmental Impacts of Intermediate Ethanol Blends on Legacy Vehicles and Small Non-Road Engines has been updated. NREL/TP-540-43543. National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, Colorado, p. 3-3
  5. ASTM Standard D5798-11, “Standard Specification for Ethanol Fuel Blends for Flexible-Fuel Automotive Spark-Ignition Engines,” p. 3-3
  6. National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, Colorado, p. 3-3
  7. National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, 2003, DOI: 10.1520/D5798-11 from ASTM International, West Conshohocken, Pennsylvania. Because E85 comprises mixes of 51 percent to 83 percent ethanol, the fuel efficiency gap between using E85 and gasoline is expressed as a range:
  • It is estimated that a 51 percent ethanol mix will result in a 15 percent reduction in mileage per gallon of gasoline, based on the difference in energy content between 51 percent ethanol and gasoline, which is normally 10 percent ethanol. On the other hand, the upper bound (a 27 percent reduction in fuel economy) is based on the difference in official EPA fuel economy testing of recent-model FFVs operating on E85 against those operating on regular gasoline.
  1. The 2014 Chevrolet Silverado Specifications were developed by J. F. Thomas, S. P Huff, and B. H. West in collaboration with General Motors. 2012. The fuel economy and emissions of a vehicle equipped with an aftermarket flexible-fuel conversion kit are shown in the table below. ORNL/TM-2011/483, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tennessee
  2. Thomas, J., B. West, and S. Huff. Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tennessee
  3. Thomas, J., B. West, and S. Huff. 2015. Impact of High-Octane Ethanol Blends on the Performance of Four Legacy Flex-Fuel Vehicles and a Turbocharged General Motors Vehicle Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tennessee
  4. ORNL/TM-2015/116
  5. Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tennessee

The Oak Ridge National Laboratory administers this website on behalf of the United States Department of Energy and the United States Environmental Protection Agency. The Oak Ridge National Laboratory administers this website on behalf of the United States Department of Energy and the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

Ethanol Content in Gasoline

The Renewable Fuel Standard, which was included as part of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, mandates that increasing volumes of renewable fuels (e.g., ethanol, biomass-based diesel) be used in gasoline and diesel sold in the United States in order to achieve energy independence and security. The majority of our Exxon and Mobil branded gasoline presently includes 10 percent ethanol, generally known as E10 fuel, according to the company. In 2011, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) certified gasoline blends containing 15 percent ethanol (E15 fuel) for use in flexible-fuel vehicles as well as gasoline automobiles, light-duty trucks, and medium-duty passenger vehicles manufactured after 2001.

Since then, automotive manufacturers have begun to guarantee new vehicles for fuel blends containing up to 15 percent ethanol, and the amount of E15 being sold in the marketplace is rising.

  • Data-analytics=”” H3,.surfaced-item-copy,.surfaced-item-content-image
  • H3,.surfaced-item-copy,.surfaced-item-content-image” data-analytics=” “

Quality fuels to get you where you’re going

  • Learn about the efforts we take to assure the quality of our fuels in this article. Find out more

The right fuel for your vehicle

  • Take advantage of the benefits of Exxon and Mobil SynergyTM gasoline and diesel to get the most out of your engine and your travel. Find out more

Get more out of every trip

  • Check out our extensive list of suggestions to help you increase your fuel efficiency and get the most out of every journey you take on the road. Find out more

Exxon and Mobil Synergy™ gasoline

  • Find out more about our SynergyTM gasoline, which is formulated with seven critical compounds to help you obtain greater gas economy on the road. *Read on to find out more.

“Gasoline” is one of the sources. Environmental Protection Agency, n.d. Web. 06 April 2014. EPA. Environmental Protection Agency. FAQs The Energy Information Administration of the United States **As of the first day of December, 2015** When comparing Synergy-branded gasoline to gasoline that meets the very minimal requirements of the United States government, fuel economy increase is shown. The actual advantages will vary depending on factors such as the kind of car, driving style, and amount of fuel already used.

Fuel Ethanol: Hero or Villain?

Fuel ethanol has risen to prominence in recent years as a source of heated debate in the United States. For some, it appears to be the worst thing that has happened since disco music. Others believe it to be the panacea for all of life’s ills and difficulties. The truth, on the other hand, is probably less extreme and incorporates a little bit of both sides-ethanol as a fuel has certain issues, but it also has some advantages. Because ethanol is now firmly entrenched as a component of our fuel supply, it is worthwhile to attempt to maintain a balanced perspective while making optimal use of this biofuel.

  1. Behind example, the aim to assist U.S.
  2. The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) now requires that about 10% of all gasoline sold in the United States be ethanol.
  3. There are even higher concentration ethanol blends available in some areas, including 15 percent (“E15”) and 85 percent (“E85”).
  4. At the atomic level, gasoline is mostly composed of carbon, with a little amount of hydrogen.
  5. (See Fig.
  6. The chemical composition of gasoline might vary depending on the source of the petroleum, the manner in which it is refined, and the manner in which it is mixed.

Source of petroleum, refinement method, and method of mixing are all factors to consider. Because of these variations, it is not unexpected that gasoline and ethanol perform differently than one another, and that mixing ethanol with gasoline can have an impact on the performance of the fuel.

Problems with Ethanol

A widespread debate in America has erupted in recent years about the use of ethanol for fuel. For some, it appears to be the worst thing that has happened to them since disco music was introduced. Other others believe that it is the panacea for all of life’s ills. Although the truth is probably less severe and includes a little of both sides, ethanol as a fuel does present some issues, but it also offers certain advantages as well. We should strive for balance in our thinking and to make the best possible use of this biofuel now that it is well established as part of our fuel supply.

  • For example, the aim to assist U.S.
  • Ethanol must presently account for approximately 10% of all gasoline sold in the United States, according to the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).
  • A variety of higher concentration ethanol blends, such as 15 percent (“E15”) and 85 percent (“E85”), are also available in some areas.
  • Petrol is mostly composed of carbon, with a small amount of hydrogen thrown in for good measure.
  • In Figure 1, you can see how to do this.
  • Oil from different sources has different chemical compositions, as does gasoline, depending on how it is refined and blended.
  • Given these variances, it is not unexpected that gasoline and ethanol perform differently, and that blending ethanol with gasoline can have an impact on the performance of the resulting fuel mixture.

Fuel energy

In terms of energy content per unit volume, ethanol is approximately 30% less energy dense than gasoline. The outcome is that gasoline with 10% ethanol will contain 97 percent the energy of gasoline with no ethanol added to it. In truth, there isn’t much of a difference between the two. If you notice a change in performance when operating on E10, it is most likely due to one or more of the other reasons listed in the following section.

Fuel contaminants

Ethanol, on the other hand, is water soluble, but gasoline is not. Due to the presence of impurities that gasoline does not, ethanol has the potential to collect and deposit contaminants inside your engine, resulting in clogged filters or injectors. ethanol If this is not addressed, it can result in significant reductions in engine performance. Engines that are used only seldom or seasonally, such as lawnmowers or chainsaws, are particularly prone to failure, but the reasons for this are not fully understood.

Fuel transporters and resellers are becoming more knowledgeable about the proper composition and storage of ethanol blends, which should result in a less severe problem in the future.

Seals and hoses

It is common for engines and fuel systems on older machinery to have weak or brittle seals and hoses that are vulnerable to deterioration. Leaks can occur as a result of the presence of ethanol in gasoline because of the way it affects them.

Fuel-air ratio

The molecules of ethanol include oxygen atoms, but the molecules of gasoline do not. One of the reasons why ethanol has less energy than gasoline is because of this. An further impact of the oxygen provided by ethanol is that ethanol blends tend to run “leaner” than pure gasoline because there is more oxygen available in the fuel-air combination when ethanol is present. Depending on whether or not your engine is capable of compensating by decreasing the incoming airflow, the combustion conditions in the engine cylinder may be less than optimal.

Some users have observed that their engines overheat when they utilize ethanol mixes, leading them to believe that ethanol burns “hotter.” This is a little puzzling because ethanol has less energy per unit volume than gasoline, and the flame temperature of ethanol is more than 40°C colder than gasoline, making this a mystery.

Most engines are built to run with an excess of fuel in relation to the amount of air in the mixture (a “rich” mixture); experience has proven that this results in higher power output and lower engine temperatures as a result of this.

In some cases, older cars and tiny engines may not be equipped to do so, leading to a “leaner” burn that may result in higher engine temperatures and/or reduced engine performance.

Increased competition for crops

The ethanol business consumes around 40% of the corn production in the United States. Even when you consider that a significant portion of the corn used for ethanol is converted into “distiller’s dry grains,” which is a high-protein animal feed, this is a significant amount of corn. Because of the presence of the ethanol market in a bad year (such as the 2012 drought), feed corn and other crops that may be produced on those fields can be more expensive than normal, resulting in increased feed and food prices.

I find it intriguing that food prices throughout the world are more closely associated with the price of petroleum than they are with the price of ethanol.

The same is true for food costs: when petroleum prices decline, so do food prices.

As long as we care about keeping food inexpensive, we must discover ways to keep fuels affordable as well, as outlined below. Figure 2 shows the relationship between the Food Price Index and the price of Brent crude oil ($/barrel) from 1990 to the present.

Benefits of Ethanol

The problems caused by ethanol are unquestionably real, but they are not the complete picture. Also worth considering are the advantages of using ethanol as a transportation fuel. The following are some of the most significant advantages: 1.


The United States used to utilize a fuel additive called MTBE to oxygenate gasoline before it was allowed to be combined with gasoline. This improved combustion efficiency while also reducing air pollution. The concern with MTBE is that it is exceedingly hazardous and has the potential to damage groundwater if it is accidentally released. Because it oxygenates the fuel, it is far safer for the water supply.

Boosts octane

Ethanol raises the octane number of the gasoline, which helps to reduce pre-ignition knock and premature ignition. It is worth noting that Russell Marker, a scientist at Penn State University, was the first to design the octane rating system for gasoline in the 1920s. In the United States, regular unleaded gasoline has an octane rating of 87 (Anti-Knock Index, or AKI) and is classified as regular. Pure ethanol has an octane rating of 100, which is the highest possible. That ethanol acts as though it had an octane rating of 112 when merged with gasoline is intriguing, since it makes ethanol an extremely effective fuel additive when employed with gasoline.

Engines that are specifically developed and optimized for ethanol fuel have the potential to operate at better efficiency than engines that are specifically designed and optimized for gasoline fuel.


One of the most difficult advantages to quantify is the influence of ethanol on gasoline costs, and economists take great pleasure in arguing this topic. To the contrary, it is acceptable to assert that having an additional 10% of our gasoline supplied by ethanol increases the overall quantity of fuel accessible while reducing the demand for other oxygenates and octane boosters, so placing downward pressure on petroleum costs.

Ethanol is Renewable

The production of ethanol from maize or other crops may be sustained throughout time by growing and harvesting the crops on an annual basis. In the case of gasoline, this cannot be said.

Supports domestic agriculture

Ethanol has benefitted the agriculture sector of the United States to the tune of billions of dollars every year since its introduction. This includes up to 70,000 direct employment and 330,000 indirect jobs, the majority of which are concentrated in rural and small-town regions, according to estimates. Ethanol can be a lifesaver for thousands of farmers each year during years when maize yields are strong but commodities prices are low. Farmers in Pennsylvania who feed maize to a local ethanol plant have received a premium over the market price for their corn in recent years.

What Should Engine Owners do?

We may anticipate ethanol to be a part of the gasoline supply for the foreseeable future until the technology, economics, and politics of fuel fundamentally shift.

What should engine owners do in order to get the most out of their fuel is something to think about.

Check and maintain your engine

Determine whether or not your equipment is compatible with ethanol-blend gasoline. If this is the case, you should contact the manufacturer to see if any changes can be made to your engine or if any additives can be utilized to make the gasoline compatible with your vehicle.

Maintain your infrequently used equipment

When not in use, lawnmowers, yachts, model cars, and other similar items should be given special attention. If the equipment will remain idle for more than a few weeks, a fuel stabilizer should be used, and it is best not to maintain stored gasoline for an extended period of time. Not only do certain small engine manufacturers advocate applying fuel stabilizer mixed with gasoline when storing equipment, but they also urge doing so at all times.

Don’t let ethanol be an excuse

Ethanol is frequently held responsible for the failure of equipment that has been improperly maintained. Don’t allow something like that happen to you. Maintain the cleanliness of your engine and the condition of your cooling system, as well as doing routine maintenance as needed. According to the proverb, “If you take care of your equipment, it will take care of you,” there is validity to the statement.

Try a comparison

You should try a tank of ethanol-free gasoline to see if it makes a difference in the performance of your engine if you are convinced that ethanol is causing the problem. The Internet is a good starting point for your search. You may be required to “go the extra mile” in order to obtain your fuel from a specialized ethanol-free fuel supplier if this is the case. Antique automobile enthusiasts and tiny engine operators are the most probable groups of people who require this strategy. Fortunately, most of us will not be required to go to such lengths.

Have a glass of water

The clean, clear water that most of us take for granted is being safeguarded by the substitution of ethanol for MTBE. Let us keep this in mind and be grateful that the use of ethanol in gasoline has improved the possibilities for pure water for future generations. What is the net advantage of ethanol in the long run, and what is a step in the wrong direction? It may be entertaining to discuss various points of view on this, but the final truth is that it is a question of personal preference as to whether the advantages or downsides are more persuasive in this case.

For older equipment or devices that are left idle for extended periods of time, a few basic measures can assist to reduce issues and enhance the functioning of your equipment or devices.


“Monthly Spot Prices for Crude Oil,” published by the Energy Information Administration of the United States Department of Energy. The Energy Information Administration of the United States Department of Energy published a report in 2014 in Washington, D.C. In J. Ferris’s “Analyzing the Influence of Energy Policy,” he examines the impact of energy policy on the economy and society. 50-52 in the October 2013 issue of Ethanol Producer Magazine. “Food Price Index,” published by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

  • Z.
  • D.
  • In this section, you will learn about Applied Industrial Energy and Environmental Management, Part III: Fundamentals of Energy and Environmental Performance Analysis and Calculation.
  • Toward a Better Economy in the United States: A Report to the Renewable Fuels Association, by J.
  • Contribution of the Ethanol Industry to the Economy of the United States.

Daniel Ciolkosz of the Penn State Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering prepared this report. Andre Boehman of the University of Michigan and Douglas Schaufler of the Penn State Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering reviewed the manuscript.

The Truth About Ethanol in Gasoline

Any time you pull up to a gas station pump in America, you’ll notice a sticker indicating that the gas being pumped includes ethanol. Ethanol is all around you, although the majority of people aren’t familiar with it. So, what exactly is it doing to your vehicle, and why is it there in the first place? Aah, there’s a fantastic story there.

What is fuel ethanol?

Ethanol is a kind of alcohol. Every alcoholic beverage, including vodka, contains the same substance, which is produced in the same way – by fermenting corn or other biomass (such as wood). However, when it is used for fuel, the refineries add additional chemicals to it to make it dangerous and unsuitable for human consumption, and then they blend it with gasoline to create gasoline. Despite the fact that it should go without saying, you should avoid considering gasoline ethanol as a substitute for your favorite drink.

  • Drive safely and responsibly, and so forth.
  • Methanol, on the other hand, is a kind of wood alcohol that is distinct from ethanol.
  • For all practical purposes, you could operate a Ford Model T on moonshine.
  • More than a century ago, Henry Ford created the first Model T automobile that could operate on either ethanol or gasoline – the first flex-fuel car.
  • During World War II, when gasoline was heavily rationed, ethanol made a comeback as a vehicle fuel.
  • Nevertheless, the precise quantity of ethanol in the mixture varies from state to state, and in certain places, ethanol-free premium gas may be found if you seek hard enough for it.

Why is ethanol in our gas?

Fuel ethanol is used to raise the octane rating of gasoline by a factor of two. To put it another way, higher octane gas is more resistant to detonation, resulting in it burning rather than exploding. However, increasing the octane rating of gasoline is costly, which is why premium fuel is more expensive than standard fuel. The addition of ethanol lessens the potential of low-grade gasoline to explode, allowing our national fleet to operate on less-than-ideal fuel. There’s also a political component to the story.

  • A large portion of the biomass used to produce ethanol is farmed in states with significant political clout.
  • The continuous mandate for ethanol in our gasoline has been supported by practically every presidential contender who had been elected in the Iowa caucuses since 1980, except for Donald Trump.
  • It all started with the Clean Air Act of 1990, and then in 2005, Congress approved the Renewable Fuel Standard, which established minimum thresholds for the use of renewable fuels in transportation.
  • By 2014, ethanol was being blended into the gasoline supply in the United States at a rate of 13 billion gallons per year.
  • Brazil, Canada, China, India, and South Korea are the top destinations for ethanol exports.
  • Alternative fuel E85 is supported by a large number of automakers and may be found in a broad variety of vehicles.

E85 is a fuel that is 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent petroleum and other components, as the name indicates. The vast majority of E85-capable automobiles can also operate on regular petroleum gasoline.

The good and bad about ethanol

Begin with the positive news, which is the most important. Ethanol is a cleaner fuel than gasoline, and when combined with gasoline, it can assist to cut emissions even more. Additionally, when the plants that are used to produce ethanol grow, they absorb some carbon dioxide. Finally, ethanol is an energy-positive fuel, which means that it produces more energy than it consumes during its production, assuming that you don’t consider the energy required to grow the plants in the first place. In contrast to gasoline, however, ethanol has a lower energy density, which means that there is more energy in a gallon of gasoline than there is in a gallon of fuel ethanol.

  1. As a result, the higher the percentage of ethanol in the gasoline, the poorer the fuel efficiency will be.
  2. Ethanol also has a greater desire to evaporate than gasoline, and fuel evaporation is a significant cause of air pollution.
  3. Lastly, the land and resources that are needed to produce ethanol are no longer accessible for other uses.
  4. Brazil consumes a significant amount of ethanol as a fuel.

The bottom line on fuel ethanol

Ethanol, for the most part, has no effect on your overall health. If you use pure gasoline, you may receive somewhat better economy and performance, but not nearly enough to make up for the additional expense of purchasing non-ethanol petrol if it is available in your area. According to the United States government, E10 may be used safely in any gasoline-powered vehicle. Classic automobile owners have observed that the ethanol tends to dry up and cause rot in older rubber hoses, seals, and diaphragms when used in their vehicles in the field.

  • To be certain, see your owner’s handbook.
  • If your vehicle was manufactured prior to 2001, you’ll need to keep an eye on it.
  • Alternatively, you might locate a non-ethanol fuel source and restrict your use to that source.
  • The majority of this is based on the use of waste paper, sawdust, and fast-growing grasses as building materials.

These are all preferable alternatives to the water- and fertilizer-intensive maize crop that is now being grown. If we can generate gasoline every time we mow our lawns, the United States will be a million dollars ahead.

Editors’ Recommendations

  • Is ethanol in your gasoline a source of concern? In a follow-up interview with an expert, we asked if it was truly necessary to purchase premium gasoline. Let’s get this party started! Brewtroleum allows you to run your automobile on beer waste.

What is ethanol free gas and why is ethanol bad for your small engine outdoor power equipment?

How-To’sGuides A gas additive known as ethanol fuel may be found almost anywhere! Nowadays, practically every gas station’s gas contains a mixture of gasoline and ethanol, which you may purchase at the pump. It is denoted by an E number how much ethanol is included in the mix. For example, E10 indicates that the gas mixture comprises 90 percent natural gas and 10 percent alcohol. Ethanol fuel is not harmful to the engine of your automobile when used in autos. When you use gas with ethanol combination in your outdoor power equipment, such as lawn mowers, chainsaws, trimmers, and leaf blowers, you run the danger of causing engine damage and suffering expensive repairs down the road.

What are the effects of ethanol fuel?

The use of E10 gasoline in lawn mowers and outdoor power handhelds, such as gas chainsaws, trimmers, and leaf blowers, has been permitted by the EPA. The same cannot be said for gas with greater quantities of ethanol. Always refer to your owner’s handbook for information on the proper type of gasoline to use.

  • While E10 fuels are permitted for use in small engine equipment, they are not advised for use in handheld devices, especially in the case of portable devices. While gasoline containing ethanol is being kept in your gas tank, it separates. However, the 2 stroke oil retains its link with the gasoline, but not with the ethanol. As a result, there is no oil present in the ethanol and water portion of the combination for engine lubrication. This results in poor lubrication, performance concerns, and costly maintenance over time
  • Ethanol will begin to absorb water over time, resulting in poor engine performance and eventual failure. E10 gas has the ability to absorb up to 50 times more water than regular gasoline. It is advised that you replace the gas in your fuel tank every 2-3 weeks in order to minimize engine problems caused by alcohol and water
  • Ethanol is also a good solvent. Simply said, it will dissolve plastic, rubber, fiberglass, and a variety of other materials, and it has the potential to cause major difficulties for tiny engines.

What are solutions to the ethanol problem?

  • Purchase gas that is devoid of ethanol. Here is where you can find non-ethanol gas stations. Maintain the freshness of your gasoline! Do not purchase and store gasoline for more than a 30-day supply. Make use of pre-mixed gasoline that is devoid of ethanol for your power equipment. We provide the most cost-effective pre-mixed gasoline solution for your portable equipment. For a limited time, you can extend the life of your Husqvarna gas-powered handheld tools, such as chainsaws, trimmers, and leaf blowers, by purchasing Husqvarna premixed fuel at the same time as your handheld purchase. For further information, please refer to the extended warranty program.

Extend Your Warranty with Premixed Fuel

Lawnmowers, chainsaws, trimmers, and other similar items can be damaged by fuel that contains ethanol. Outdoor equipment owners must ensure that their gas does not include any ethanol, or at the very least does not contain more than 10% ethanol, especially with the increasing popularity of E15. Overheating and corrosion can occur in these tools if they contain an excessive amount of ethanol. Small-engine equipment is not built to handle gasoline with a high concentration of ethanol. Because E15 burns significantly hotter than E10, it has the potential to cause tiny engines to overheat.

Downsides of Non-Ethanol Gas

Despite the fact that ethanol-free gas has a number of advantages, particularly for individual drivers, non-ethanol gas is considered to be more detrimental to the environment than ethanol gas. Pure oil emissions contribute to air pollution and global warming, as well as to global warming. As previously stated, this is one of the primary reasons why ethanol is blended with gasoline. As worry about global warming grows in popularity, blended gasoline and other alternative fuels are becoming increasingly attractive alternatives.

We Become More Dependent on Other Countries for Oil

As our country’s reliance on oil has grown, we have come to rely more and more on gas imports from other nations to meet our energy needs. The usage of ethanol-free gas increases our total reliance on fossil fuels. Gas prices will surely rise as a result of this dependency on foreign oil.

Difficult to Find in Certain Areas

Ethanol-free gasoline is more difficult to come by than E10 or E15. The availability of ethanol-based fuel will be a top priority for most petrol stations.

Those who opt to convert to non-ethanol gas may have to travel out of their way to get it, which increases the cost of the fuel. Several factors, including a lack of supply and the potential for inconvenience, make it difficult for many drivers to commit to using ethanol-free petrol.

Costs More than Regular Gasoline

When compared to ordinary gasoline, non-ethanol gas can cost anywhere from 10 to 15 cents more per gallon on the average. Adding this extra fee per gallon to the driver’s bill might easily mount up. If you choose to utilize ethanol-free petrol, you will need to compare the benefits of increased gas mileage against the price of purchasing the fuel initially.

The Debate Surrounding Non-Ethanol Gas

Since the passage of the Clean Air Act in 1990, Congress in the United States has mandated the use of ethanol-based gas in transportation fuels. The Renewable Fuel Standard, which was approved in 2005 and established minimum limits for the use of renewable fuels, was the next step. Every year, more than 13 billion gallons of ethanol are added to the fuel supply in the United States. Beyond the fact that it has seen a growth in use over the last few decades, ethanol is one of the most important exports from the United States.

  1. Overall, ethanol exports provide over $5 billion to the economy and support more than 47,000 employment for residents in the United States.
  2. This prohibition was lifted in 2019 when it was determined that lifting it would benefit both consumers and the economy as a whole.
  3. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has claimed that the large-scale cultivation of corn and soybeans for the manufacturing of ethanol-based fuel is harmful to the environment.
  4. Because coal is used to power the vast majority of ethanol facilities in the United States, the greenhouse gas emissions resulting from ethanol production have a detrimental impact on the environment.
  5. The biofuel sector, on the other hand, is not convinced by the EPA’s conclusions.
  6. This is the equivalent of removing 1.4 million automobiles from the road.

Looking for Non-Ethanol Gas in Oregon? We’ve Got You Covered!

When you’re at the gas station filling up your car’s tank, you might be wondering what the difference is between conventional gasoline and the fuel known as ethanol. What should I use instead of what should I not use? Is it possible that I’ve been using the wrong sort of fuel in my vehicle? Price, availability, and the manufacturer’s recommendations are all important considerations when making a purchase decision.

Depending on where you live in the country, you may not even be able to obtain ordinary gasoline that does not include ethanol. Don’t allow a faulty selection prevent you from enhancing the performance and fuel economy of your automobile.

The Differences Between Ethanol and Gasoline

  1. For every gallon of gasoline, one gallon of ethanol offers one-third the amount of energy.
  1. In an 85/15 ratio (E85), ethanol and gasoline are combined to produce fuel that is roughly thirty percent less potent than pure gasoline, according to the EPA. Acceleration, power, and cruising abilities are comparable between gasoline and ethanol, although ethanol miles per gallon is fewer than pure gasoline.
  1. Ethanol can cause harm to fuel systems and engines that is not present in pure gasoline. The poisoning of water and the separation of fuel are the most serious issues. Ethanol has the ability to attract and absorb water, including water vapor from the air. When enough water is absorbed by the gasohol, fuel water contamination occurs in the car’s gas tank, which has an adverse effect on the engine’s performance. The fuel separation that occurs when the automobile sits for a long period of time occurs
  2. This is when the gas and water separate and create layers in the gas tank, and if the motor sucks up the water layer and injects it into the engine, major and expensive damage occurs.
  1. Ethanol is a kind of alcohol, and alcohol is known to promote corrosion in fuel systems. Metal parts corrode, and plastic parts get warped or broken as a result of this.
  1. Ethanol is not an ideal fuel additive, and older vehicles in particular have difficulty running on ethanol fuel.

What is the purpose of blending and selling ethanol if it is less efficient than gasoline and can potentially cause harm to automobiles? For starters, gasoline that has been combined with ethanol burns cleaner than straight gasoline. The usage of ethanol in automobiles reduces greenhouse gas emissions. Ethanol is added to gasoline to create a “oxygenate,” which complies with the standards of the Clean Air Act, which is a federal law passed in 1970. The second reason is that ethanol is derived from maize, and it is a significant source of revenue.

In recent years, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has permitted for E15 to be sold alongside E10.

E15 is available for purchase in Kansas, Iowa, and Nebraska.

  • Heavy-duty vehicles, boats, lawn mowers, off-road vehicles, motorcycles, and power equipment are examples of what is available.

E15 is compatible with the vast majority of automobiles built after 2001 and designed to run on “flex fuel.” All major vehicle manufacturers are looking at the possibility of voiding warranties on vehicles that run on E15 fuel despite being designed to run on no more than E10 fuel. Furthermore, because the cost of pure gasoline and ethanol-blended gasoline is about the same, the sole advantage of using ethanol-blended gas is for environmental reasons.

Availability of Pure Gasoline

Ethanol gasoline production is expected to expand to 36 billion gallons by 2022, according to regulations imposed by the Environmental Protection Agency for the execution of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, which was passed in 2007. Only 9 billion gallons of gasoline were produced in the first year following the act’s introduction. As a result, ethanol output soared to unprecedented heights. If current trends continue, the availability of ethanol-free gasoline will continue to decline.

Only if the political environment changes or the Renewable Fuels Standard’s mandate is reduced will this be an exception to the rule.

Counteracting Ethanol Problems

Because high-quality fuel system additives that contain no ethanol or alcohol of any sort are available, customers may take efforts to mitigate the negative impacts of ethanol.

Small engines, boat engines, automobile engines, and virtually any sort of gasoline internal combustion engine are all covered by the company’s product line. The first version of this piece was published on March 31, 2014, and the most recent version was published on April 15, 2021.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *