Study Finds Benefits of 20 Percent Ethanol Blends

A new study from the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) finds benefits to the gasoline blended with 20 percent ethanol (E20).

The study by RIT’s Center for Integrated Manufacturing Studies indicates that E20 reduces emissions of hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide compared with traditional gasoline or E10 blends. In addition, the research team found no measurable impact to vehicle drivability or maintenance in conventional internal combustion engines.

Using a 10-vehicle fleet owned and operated by Monroe County, N.Y., researchers fueled the vehicles – all with older gasoline engines not specifically designed to burn ethanol blends – over the accumulation of at least 100,000 miles per vehicle. Researchers found that the fleet showed an average reduction of 23 percent for carbon monoxide and a 13 percent reduction for hydrocarbon emissions, with no measurable stress on vehicle operation or mechanics.

“There have been concerns raised that any increase in blend would negatively impact standard internal combustion engines, however our data shows that vehicle performance remained constant, while carbon monoxide and hydrocarbon emissions were decreased even over E10 blends,” said Brian Hilton, senior staff engineer at the center and member of the research team.

Growth Energy CEO Tom Buis says the study provides good data to support their “Green Jobs Waiver,” which seeks an increase in the allowable blend of ethanol with gasoline from 10 percent to 15 percent, by showing that higher blends are fine for older model vehicles.

“This new study confirms what we’ve been saying all along. Increasing the use of ethanol in our fuel can help clean our environment, strengthen our national security and create jobs, all without any impact on the drivability of our cars,” Buis said.

9 thoughts on “Study Finds Benefits of 20 Percent Ethanol Blends

  1. Hopefully the decision makers in power don’t keep ignoring the facts that tests like this prove. Again, one of my unmodified vehicles has had 50% for the last nine years.

  2. What facts???? This story says nothing about the effects on reliability of the engines. What was the reliability rate for E20 vs gasoling/E10? There is no good data in this at all. It is an informercial.

  3. Potentially good news but…
    1. Where is the study? A nice press release from the university is one thing. Scientific review by peers (and scrutiny by the public) is another. Hasn’t climate change taught us anything?

    2. The main things negatives mentioned about ethanol blends is the loss in fuel efficiency and the effect on other components. They mention the latter, what about the former?

    3. There have been many studies on E10′s negative effects on engines not designed to run it. Not to mentio What makes E20 better?

    Need the full report before I deem this the new fuel for my car.

  4. 3.4% less energy per each 10% increase in ethanol. So E20 cuts milage by 6.8% unless compression ratios can take advantage of the higher octane. Small engines without computers cannot tolerate that much loss of energy and will be lean and possibly sieze, EPA requirements prevent users from re-adjusting the carburetors to run on ethanol, IF manufacturers set them in their factory on E-20 then they will not pass EPA audits on certification fuel. AND THE FINAL THORN. E-20 is required to meet the volumes of renewable fuels mandated in the 2005 Energy independance Act. BUT no one has proven that Ethanol made from corn in the US is a net energy gain! If it were economically viable it would not have to be mandated and supported with tax breaks.

  5. Nice Infomercial for Growth Energy… wonder how much $ they contributed for RIT’s (Independent) study?

    The study presents no specific data for E0 vs E10 vs E20 nor does it mention over what period the 100k miles were accumulated. My guess is that the period was maybe a year at best. Most vehicles won’t accumulate 100k miles inside of 7 years. This “study” doesn’t factor in the effects ethanol-based fuels have on fuel systems, components and ultimately engines, when they sit for long periods of time.

  6. Skip V, Be Ware, Can you guys read? I said 9 years with 50% ethanol in a 1992 Toyota 4×4, 8 years in a Ford Aspire using 30%. Over a year with a 2000 Buick using 30%. Lawboy 2 cycle using 10% mixed with oil over 10 years. If you’re having problems with ethanol blends, then it must be the gasoline it is mixed with.

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  8. I’m held hostage.

    As an American Citizen I want and demand clear choices. So I have to drive my car to work. Pull up to the gas station and I have just one choice – gas. Gasoline with fungible allotments but averaged in as one third from the U.S.; one third from my Canadian and Mexican friends; and one third from an OPEC cartel whose members are composed of Muslim Extremists, Communists, and Despots! I have to buy this concoction to the detriment of my children and countrymen who have and will someday have to pay the ultimate price as soldiers defending the world’s greatest source of oil reserves – the Persian Gulf and Middle East region. I say enough is enough.

    I want consumers like myself to decide the fate of our lives by our steady independent vote and right of choice to buy what ever energy source the market will bear. This means when I go to the “energy” station, I can buy my fuel like a consumer at Starbucks. I will take Alaskan crude with my corn ethanol, Thank you! Another consumer can take Saudi Sweet with Russian caviar – I don’t care. I just want choice. If I want to put 100% Brazilian sugarcane ethanol in my car, then let me do it.

    We are all held hostage because of no choice at the “crude oil” station. It is as simple as that and no more complicated. Consumer Choice promotes healthy change!

  9. Note how they provide zero data. And given that ethanol has been shown in SUV driving tests to provide a 27% reduction in fuel economy, the 23% and 13% reduction in carbon emissions is simply lies on paper.

    Of course you are getting a reduction in emissions, but you are also driving an effective 27% shorter distance to get that small emissions reduction. When you account for the reduced MPG you get with ethanol, you find that ethanol INCREASES carbon emissions!

    You have to learn to see through the lies of a for profit propaganda campaign as this “study” is revealing to see the real truth. The ethanol scam continues on the American people. Electrical propulsion is far cheaper and far cleaner given Obama’s embracement of nuclear energy. Let’s end the massive subsidies already and allow corn ethanol to compete fairly with sugarcane ethanol (tariff free) from Brazil.