As the ethanol industry seeks a waiver to allow the use of up to 15 percent ethanol in gasoline, corn-based ethanol remains the basic building block for increased use of the product nationwide.
“We have to build the cellulosic industry on the foundation of corn-based ethanol,” Growth Energy co-chairman Wesley Clark told reporters during an appearance at the National Press Club’s Newsmaker Series last week. “Corn-based ethanol has been the pioneer. It’s set up the marketing, it’s set up the distribution, it’s encouraged vehicles to be flexible-fuel, and all of this sets the basis for cellulosic.”
However, Clark pointed out that ethanol production has essentially capped out under the current regulatory standard, so moving to a higher approved blend level is essential for the industry to move forward. “The E15 is perfectly acceptable in American cars because vehicle fuel systems have been upgraded to meet US regulations and tested against even more aggressive fuels,” Clark said.