EPA Green-Lights E15 Ethanol-Blend Gasoline

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has approved the first applications for the registration of ethanol for use in making gasoline that contains up to 15% ethanol (E15).

Registration of ethanol to make E15 is a ‘significant step toward its production, sale and use in model-year 2001 and newer gasoline-fueled cars and light trucks,’ according to the EPA. The registration process is designed to help retail fueling stations and other gasoline distributors implement labeling rules and other E15-related requirements. EPA is not requiring the use or sale of E15.

To support the use of E15, the Obama administration is seeking to assist station owners in the installation of 10,000 blender pumps over the next five years. The U.S. Department of Energy and Department of Agriculture are also providing grants, loans and loan guarantees to bolster the next generation of biofuels.

Ethanol has been blended into gasoline for three decades, but it was limited to 10% by volume. The limit is now 15%, but E15 is not permitted for use in motor vehicles built prior to model-year 2001 and in off-road vehicles and equipment. Pumps dispensing E15 will be clearly labeled, the EPA notes.

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