The Coordinating Research Council (CRC) released a study today that found gasoline containing E15 could cause fuel components in cars to break down. Further, API asserts the results show EPA acted irresponsibly in approving the fuel for use and underscores the need to repeal biofuels mandates. It should be noted that the CRC was created by some automobile industry groups and API.
In the CRC study, researchers examined fuel components that represent 29 million vehicles and are used in the following car models: the 2007 Nissan Altima, 2001 Chevrolet Cavalier, 2004 Ford Focus, 2003 Nissan Maxima and 2004 Ford Ranger. Fuel pumps were tested for the average life of a car (120,000 miles) using straight gasoline, gasoline containing E10, gasoline containing E15, and an “aggressive” E15 blend meant to be the worst-case scenario found on the market. Some fuel systems survive testing in mid-blend ethanol fuels, while others experienced failures, with damage ranging from check-engine lights on cars going off, to cars stalling on the road.
Biofuels groups like Growth Energy’s CEO Tom Buis vehemently disagreed with the CRC results. Buis stated “While CRC cites a lack of testing, the reality is that E15 is the most tested fuel to date with more than six million miles of testing by the Department of Energy and over three million miles run on the demanding race tracks of NASCAR without any engine problems or damage.”
API argues that most of the EPA testing was done on emission systems, not all engine components. API is considering taking EPA’s ruling affirming approval of E15 to the Supreme Court.
From NCPCM Argus Volume 2013, Issue 3 February 1, 2013