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New findings confirm Ethanol has no adverse effect on older model cars PDF Print E-mail
Written by Holyoke Enterprise   

New findings, released Thursday, Sept. 16 by internationally renowned automotive engineering firm Ricardo Inc., confirm what industry experts have been reporting for years: “Ethanol has no adverse effects on the internal parts of your engine or specifically the fuel system—in fact due to the lower temperature at which E85 burns it is actually much better for the components of your engine.”

The Renewable Fuels Association requested Ricardo Inc. perform an analytical engineering study to determine the effects of raising the current maximum blend limit of 10 percent ethanol (E10) to blend of 15 percent ethanol (E15) for the existing motor vehicle fleet in the United States. The study specifically focused on light duty on-road vehicles produced in the 1994 to 2000 model years (MY).

These specific MYs have been previously overlooked by researchers and yet represent over 25 percent of all cars on the road in America today. “The analysis concluded that the adoption and use of E15 would not adversely affect fuel system components in properly engineered vehicles, nor would it cause them to perform in a sub-optimal manner, when compared to the use of E10.”

Previous studies concluded that increasing the blend ratio of ethanol to gasoline from E10 to E15 for vehicle MYs 2001-10 is safe, but skeptics were concerned that older models might be susceptible to corrosion in their fuel systems. This study showed no corrosion at all when exposed to the fuel blend E15.

“This study provides important verification for consumers,” stated Mark Sponsler, Executive Director of Colorado Corn. “Based on recent studies, ethanol use in the U.S. in 2009 alone had the GHG reduction equivalent of removing 2.7 million cars from the road. Now consumers can be confident about using E10 or E15 in older vehicles and contribute to cleaner air even if they own vehicles built before 2000.”

“Ricardo has technical centers and offices throughout Europe, the United States and Asia. They provide strategic consulting and engineering expertise to the world’s major auto makers and suppliers, as well as manufacturers in the military, commercial, off-highway and clean-energy sectors. The company also serves in advisory roles to governmental and independent agencies.”