Next Steps for E15

The Nebraska Corn Board recently hosted some meetings, sponsored by the Blend Your Own (BYO) ethanol campaign, to discuss the roll-out of E15. Nearly 75 people attended the meetings ranging from producers, fuel retailers and petroleum marketers to representatives of the ethanol and agricultural industries. Director of Market Development for the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA), Robert White, offered information on the next steps needed to bring E15 to pumps across the country.

“There is a lot of misinformation about E15 such as requirements for ethanol plants and fuel retailers that is coming from various sources. This meeting was necessary to get the right information to the right people,” said White. “We want to see E15 introduced legally and safely.”

Several requirements were put into place by the EPA before the fuel became legal this year. An E15 label had to be approved. A fuel survey had to be conducted. In addition, the ethanol industry, working with the fuel retail industry, was required to devise a misfueling mitigation plan as well as create a consumer education campaign designed to tell consumers what vehicles could safely use E15. These requirements were discussed as well as data on health effects and incentives available to assist retailers with the installation of E15 pumps.

Curt Friesen, District 3 Director on the Nebraska Corn Board, concluded, “It is crucial that all the necessary steps are taken before offering E15 at the pump. The Nebraska Corn Board is pleased to take a leading role in the introduction of E15 in Nebraska.”

6 thoughts on “Next Steps for E15

  1. From my own experience of 37 years years in gasoline supply & distribution and retail marketing, unless “all” automobiles, regardless of age, can run on E15, you are not going to achieve the necessary volumes to be successful. There simply aren’t enough tanks in the ground at the retail level to accommodate another grade of gasoline. Period.

  2. To Mike D.

    To make room for E15, get rid of the “mid-grade” octane. Let the E15 price fluctuate relative to the “regular” and “high-octane” depending on the price of ethanol, and let people choose. Some might even buy E15 at a premium because they know it is supporting American growers.

  3. Mike – All that is needed is a total of two tanks, but other configurations are easily incorporated. The most common is two tanks using blender pumps. Some are using E0 or E10, with a higher ethanol blend in the other tank, something between E30-E98. There are marketers and retailers that have prepared for E15 introduction that could explain the ease of incorporating E15 into their product offering.

  4. Your solution sounds great, but it is not so simple in the real world. Ripping out perfectly good pumps and replacing them with blender pumps is VERY costly, with no obvious payback, as the gas station probably will not sell more fuel.

  5. The blender pump in Primghar Iowa is dispensing E0,E10, E20,E30, and E85 out of two tanks—very simple. I think I was told they were able to get E98 straight from the ethanol plant instead of preblended E85 for the one tank.

  6. Robert – Thousands of dispensers are replaced each year as they simply hit the end of their useful life. The standard gasoline dispensers are now certified up to 25% ethanol. You get all of the technology at no additional cost. That said, I am working with hundreds of stations currently, many are replacing some of their dispensers early because the understand the opportunity, even if some don’t. Other are replacing all. Just varies, but it is happening in the real world.