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EPA to Allow 15% Ethanol Fuel in Gasoline

April 02, 2012

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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency approved the first applications for registration of ethanol for use in making gasoline that contains up to 15% ethanol - known as E15.


For more than 30 years, ethanol, a renewable fuel, has been blended into gasoline, but the amount was legally limited to 10% by volume for use in gasoline-fueled vehicles.

After extensive vehicle testing by DOE and other organizations, EPA issued two partial waivers raising the allowable ethanol volume to 15% for use in model year 2001 and newer cars and light trucks.

To enable widespread use of E15, the Obama Administration has set a goal to help fueling station owners install 10,000 blender pumps during the next five years. In addition, both through the Recovery Act and the 2008 Farm Bill, the U.S. Department of Energy and U.S. Department of Agriculture have provided grants, loans and loan guarantees to spur American ingenuity on the next generation of biofuels.

Registration is a prerequisite to introducing E15 into the marketplace. Before it can be sold, manufacturers must help ensure retail stations and other gasoline distributors understand and implement labeling rules and other E15-related requirements.

EPA is not requiring the use or sale of E15.

Ethanol is considered a renewable fuel because it is generally produced from plant products or wastes and not from fossil fuels.

E15 is not permitted for use in motor vehicles built prior to 2001 model year and in off-road vehicles and equipment such as boats and lawn and garden equipment. Gas pumps dispensing E15 will be clearly labeled for consumers.

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