Fuel blends

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Bioenergy > Biofuels > Liquid biofuels > Fuel blends

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Fuel blends are combinations of different types of liquid fuels. An example is E85, which is a blend of 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline. While most vehicles may require unblended gasoline, Flex-fuel vehicles (FFVs) can operate on any mixture of ethanol and gasoline.

Related issues:

  • Common fuel blends
    • The main fuel blends containing biofuels are:
      • Ethanol blends: E5, E10, E85 (with the number denoting the percentage of the total fuel accounted for by ethanol), and
      • Biodiesel blends: B2, B5, and B10 (with the number denoting the percentage of the total fuel accounted for by biodiesel).
  • Fuel blending policies, rules and regulations
    • Ethanol industry representatives have called for the creation and diffusion of "blender pumps", which would allow consumers to select the ratio of ethanol mixed with gasoline.


  • The only thing ‘green’ about NASCAR’s switch to corn ethanol is the cash, 29 October 2010 by Donald Carr: "In a move that USA Today says "could be regarded as economically motivated as well as environmentally aware," NASCAR will adopt an ethanol blend of fuel beginning with the 2011 Daytona 500."
    • "This bit of news was welcomed heartily by the corn ethanol lobby, which is facing the prospect of the ethanol tax credit subsidy expiring at the end of the year as well as consumer confusion at fueling stations across the country, as ethanol blends increase only for specific model-year vehicles."
    • "Here at the Environmental Working Group, we are certain that using corn ethanol as an alternative to gasoline is hardly a sustainable solution to our energy needs. We know that between 2005 and 2009, U.S. taxpayers spent $17 billion to subsidize corn ethanol blends in gasoline, an outlay that produced a paltry reduction in overall oil consumption equal to a 1.1 mile-per-gallon increase in fleetwide fuel economy."
    • "We're sure that corn ethanol production pollutes fresh-water sources in the Midwest. We know that there are serious concerns about ethanol plants and their impact on the environment. We know corn production for ethanol expands the dead zone in the Gulf. We also know it has led to obliteration of wildlife habitat."
  • Roundtable on Sustainable Biofuels adopts 50% GHG Threshold for Compliant Fuel Blends, 23 July 2010 by the Roundtable on Sustainable Biofuels: As reported in the Summary Report of the RSB Steering Board Meeting held 15-17 June 2010 in Lausanne, Switzerland, the RSB Steering Board adopted a “significant and ambitious” decision regarding the GHG Emissions Threshold (Criterion 3c) that should be established for RSB-qualifying biofuels.
    • The decision adopted by consensus was that "[T]he blend obtained by a retailer/blender by mixing RSB compliant biofuels from various sources, shall have 50% lower GHG emissions than fossil fuel on average. Such blend of biofuels or a neat biofuel (i.e. pure biofuel sold unblended) cannot make any claim of compliance if it does not reduce GHG emissions by 50%."
    • In addition, 'all individual RSB compliant biofuels shall have lower GHG emissions over their life cycle, compared to the fossil fuel baseline".[1]
  • Opponents of E15 ethanol blend launch campaign calling for more testing, 27 July 2010 by AutoBlogGreen: "Last month, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that its decision to raise the ethanol blend from ten percent (E10) to 15 percent (E15) had been postponed pending further testing. Prior to announcing the postponement, the EPA received reports from automakers suggesting that E15 could be detrimental to modern engines."
    • "Environmental and industry groups are now calling on Congress to require thorough scientific testing before increasing the ethanol blend. The groups banded together to create FollowTheScience.org, a site focused on the negative impact of E15. FollowTheScience launched an ad campaign with the tagline 'Say NO to untested E15'."
    • A press release by the coalition stated:
      • "Most gasoline sold in the United States contains 10 percent ethanol (E10). Some ethanol lobbyists are seeking to boost that to 15 percent (E15), or to compromise with a boost to 12 percent (E12)."
      • "Ethanol burns hotter than gasoline and corrodes soft metals, plastics and rubber. The groups collectively believe more testing is needed to determine how much ethanol is too much for different types of existing engines to use safely without risking engine failure".[2]
    • Sponsors of the ad include the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Hispanic Institute, the Engine Manufacturers Association, and the Snack Food Association.
  • EPA “Dropping the Ball” on E15, 18 June 2010 by The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA): "EPA is preparing to approve E15 use for only model year 2007 and newer vehicles in September while waiting to approve E15 for model year 2001 and newer vehicles later this fall. The RFA has repeatedly challenged EPA to provide any justification for such a decision, but the agency has yet to do so."
    • "Allowing up to E15 blends, up from current 10 percent limits, would mean a potential increase of 6.5 billion gallons of new ethanol demand, displacing more than 200 million additional barrels of imported oil." [3]

Fuel edit
Alternative fuel | Biofuel

Gasoline-ethanol fuel blends: E10 | E85 | E90 {Blender's Credit, Blender pump, "Blender wall")
Fuel standards: Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS, US), Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO, UK)
Fuel tracebility (Labeling/Tagging)


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