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Ethanol - Alcohol

Important Note:  There are absolutely no additives that can overcome the effects of Ethanol or any other Alcohol in your fuel; None. I know of only one thing that works, and works well. Increase the Ignition Spark. New products are on the market; products that produce Plasma Ignition; Aquapulser and BluePhoenix Ignition are examples. But the simplest method, and the least expensive method is to replace your old technology spark plugs with Pulstar Pulse plugs.  

Ethanol Labeling Laws - by State


The reason we now have alcohol blend fuels (E10) at most gas station pumps is because of several U.S. government and EPA laws, including:
  • The Clean Air Act (1990)
  • Alternative Motor Fuels Act (1988)
  • The Energy Poly Act (2005)
  • The Renewable Fuel Standard Program (2006, 2007, 2008)

The U.S. is a petroleum dependent nation. As per official U.S. government statistics from EIA - Energy Information Administration on May 1st, 2008, The United States imported about 60% of the oil we consumed during 2006, and 70% in 2008. The United States produces 10% of the world's oil and consumes over 24%. 

The 5 primary goals for promotion and use of renewable (non-petroleum) fuels include:

  1. To decrease petroleum usage and decrease dependence on foreign oil importing
  2. To meet requirements of 1990 Clean Air Act; decrease pollution, carbon monoxide, and help areas out of compliance with the national Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for ozone
  3. Replace MTBE with ethanol for oxygenating fuel
  4. Use ethanol as a gasoline volume extender
  5. And more recently to meet state mandates (quotas) for renewable fuels; including corn (grain) ethanol, cellulose ethanol, and biodiesel fuels. Since ethanol is readily available, most renewable fuel laws are met primarily from ethanol-blends of fuel.
Ethanol Fuel History Timeline (from fuel-testers.com)

  E15 -  A blend of Gasoline and Ethanol

  EPA and E15 distribution process


2008, February - Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), Revised:
EPA announces the revised Renewable Fuel Standard for 2008: This standard is used by obligated parties (refiners, importers, and blenders, other than oxygen blenders), to calculate their renewable volume obligation. This notice, which is required under section 211 of the Clean Air Act as amended by the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, supersedes the notice published November 27, 2007.

2007, December - Energy Independence and Security Act signed by Congress and President Bush, EISA requires the use of 15 billion gallons of renewable (ethanol) fuel by 2015. In 2007 about 6.5 billion gallons were produced.

2006 - September - The Renewable Fuel Standard Program (RFS): This national renewable fuel program is designed to encourage the blending of renewable fuels (ethanol) into our nation's motor vehicle fuel. The nationwide Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS), will double the use of ethanol and biodiesel by 2012. To meet RFS quotas, ethanol will be primarily blended into E10 conventional gasoline and E85 Flex-Fuel.

2005 - The Energy Policy Act of 2005: The EPA is responsible for regulations to ensure that gasoline sold in the United States contains a minimum volume of renewable fuel (ethanol is a renewable fuel). President Bush signed into law the first National Energy Plan in more than a decade. The President's national energy plan will encourage energy efficiency and conservation, promote alternative and renewable energy sources, reduce our dependence on foreign sources of energy, increase domestic production, modernize the electricity grid, and encourage the expansion of nuclear energy.

2003 to Present: Almost all states have followed California's lead, banning MTBE, a few states still have lawsuits pending with the EPA for exemption from MTBE ban, resulting in MTBE being replaced by ethanol nationwide. Problems with groundwater contamination from the use of methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE), the only other available oxygenate and principal octane booster, accelerated the use of ethanol in low-level blends after 1990.

2003: California began switching from MTBE to ethanol to make reformulated gasoline. California was the first state to completely ban MTBE, effective January 1, 2004.

1999:  Some states began to pass bans on MTBE because traces of it were showing up in drinking water sources.

1995:  EPS began requiring the use of reformulated gasoline year round in metropolitan areas with the most smog. EPA issued public bulletin warning for boaters using E10 ethanol fuel.

Late 1990's to Present:  Major U.S. auto manufacturers begin selling Flexible Fuel Vehicles (FFV's), that can run on up to 85% ethanol. About 5 million FFV's/AFV's are on the road today. All automobile manufacturers re-designed automobiles to be compatible with E10 gasoline.

1990 - Clean Air Act Amendments:  Mandated the winter use of oxygenated fuels in 39 major Carbon monoxide non-attainment areas (based on EPA emissions standards for carbon dioxide not being met, in areas with unhealthy levels of carbon monoxide.) and required year-round use of oxygenates in 9 severe ozone non-attainment areas in 1995.

The Clean Air Act (1990) and Alternative Motor Fuels Act (1988):  Contain provisions for mandating oxygenated fuel and RFG. Reformulated Gasoline RFG = Ethanol and MTBE.


In The News


Fuel economy

Groundbreaking Study Finds that Certain Ethanol Blends can Provide Better Fuel Economy than Gasoline. 

"Optimal Blend" Is Likely E20 or E30; 
Coalition Calls for Further Government Research

Sioux Falls, SD (December 5, 2007)--Research findings released today show that mid-range ethanol blends--fuel mixtures with more ethanol than E10 but less than E85--can in some cases provide better fuel economy than regular unleaded gasoline, even in standard, non-flex vehicles. 

Previous assumptions held that ethanol's lower energy content directly correlates with lower fuel economy for drivers. Those assumptions were found to be incorrect. Instead, the new research strongly suggests that there is an "optimal blend level" of ethanol and gasoline--most likely E20 or E30--at which cars will get better mileage than predicted based strictly on the fuel's per-gallon Btu content. The new study, cosponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy and the American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE), also found that mid-range ethanol blends reduce harmful tailpipe emissions. 

Initial findings indicate that we as a nation haven't begun to recognize the value of ethanol, "said Brian Jennings, executive vice president of the American Coalition for Ethanol." This is a compelling argument for more research on the promise of higher ethanol blends in gasoline. There is strong evidence that the optimal ethanol-gasoline blend for standard, non-flex-fuel vehicles is greater than E10 and instead may be E20 or E30. We encourage the federal government to move swiftly to research the use of higher ethanol blends and make necessary approvals so that American motorists can have the cost-effective ethanol choices they deserve at the pump. 

The University of North Dakota Energy Environmental Research Center (EERC) and the Minnesota Center for Automotive Research (MnCAR) conducted the research using four 2007 model vehicles: a Toyota Camry, a Ford Fusion, and two Chevrolet Impalas, one flex-fuel and one non-flex-fuel. Researchers used the EPA Highway Fuel Economy Test (HWFET) to examine a range of ethanol-gasoline blends from straight Tier 2 gasoline up to 85 percent ethanol. All of the vehicles got better mileage with ethanol blends than the ethanol's energy content would predict, and three out of four actually traveled farther on a mid-level gasoline blend than on unleaded gasoline. 

In addition to the favorable fuel economy findings, the research provides strong evidence that standard, non-flex-fuel vehicles can operate on ethanol blends beyond 10 percent. The three non-flex-fuel vehicles tested operated on levels as high as E65 before any engine fault codes were displayed. Emissions results for the ethanol blends were also favorable for nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide and non-methane organic gases, showing an especially significant reduction in CO2 emissions for each vehicle's "optimal" ethanol blend.

Source of this information: 


Page Last Edited - 01/30/2016


Gasoline Gallon Equivalent - GGE

Gasoline gallon equivalent (GGE) or gasoline-equivalent gallon (GEG) is the amount of alternative fuel it takes to equal the energy content of one liquid gallon of gasoline. GGE allows consumers to compare the energy content of competing fuels against a commonly known fuel --- gasoline.




Gasoline (Regular Un-leaded) 1 US Gallon 114,100 BTU per gallon
Gasoline reformulated with Ethanol 1.019 Gallons 111,836 BTU per gallon
Diesel #2 0.88 US Gallon 129,500 BTU per gallon
Biodiesel (B100) 0.96 Gallons 118,300 BTU per gallon
Biodiesel (B20) 0.90 Gallons 127,250 BTU per gallon
Kerosene 0.90 US Gallon 128,100 BTU per gallon
Ethanol fuel(E100) 1.500 US Gallons 76,000 BTU per gallon
Ethanol fuel (E85) 1.39 US Gallons 81,800 BTU per gallon
Methanol fuel (M100) 2.01 US Gallons 56,800 BTU/gal (it takes twice as much Methanol to equal the BTU of gas)

    Copyright 2003   All rights reserved.   Revised: 01/29/16.                                             Web Author, daddyo44907
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