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.