Tags: e15 | ethanol | blend | gas

'E15' Ethanol Blend of Gasoline Causing 'Cornfusion'

Wednesday, 02 Jan 2013 03:05 PM

By Dale Eisinger

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A new blend of ethanol-rich gasoline called E15 could be too much for some cars to handle.

The new gas blend gets its name from the 15 percent of corn-derived ethanol mixed into it, and it reportedly tears up the fuel lines of vehicles that can’t process the gas and leaves the vehicles with repairs not covered by warranties — at least that's the implication from a number of car manufacturers.

E15 hit the markets in June, after the Environmental Protection Agency approved its sale. It’s touted as helping reduce greenhouse gas emissions, as well as the U.S. dependence on foreign oil. It does wonders for corn growers and their supporters, too. As fuel producers start ratcheting up the amount of ethanol, more cars are being produced specifically for the corn-derived fuel.

However, BMW, Chrysler, Nissan, Toyota, and Volkswagen have all stated that their warranties do not cover claims over E15 fuel damage. But proponents of the renewable resource say the claims of damage are overstated and misinformed.

Double however, Bob Dinneen, the CEO of the Renewable Fuels Association, says that E15 is safe for all vehicles manufactured after 2001, based on government testing.

"There are no corrosive issues with E15," Dinneen said, "If there's an issue with E15, we're going to know about it, and the EPA is going to know about it."

Regardless of what's actually going on in the fuel lines of vehicles, an Internet movement has flared up as people fume over possible damage to cars that get E15 fuel at the pump —sometimes unknowingly. As much as a half-gallon of gas can be left in a fuel hose when someone pulls up to the pump.

People are urging a boycott across the Web as commuters take issue with E15 and ethanol, saying it's a waste of resources and not worth the energy the fuel costs to produce.

"It's obvious that right now ethanol doesn't produce the same energy per dollar that gasoline does — if it did, everyone would use it," one Reddit user wrote.

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