Yellow Fuel Caps On GM Cars Means E-85 OK

Chuck Zimmerman

Did you know that there’s almost 5 million vehicles on the roads that can run on E85, an 85 percent blend of ethanol in gasoline? Most of the owners don’t even know it. The reason is that there’s no easy way to know if your car will accept this high level blend. On many of these FFV’s (flex fuel vehicles) you can check inside the fuel door and you might see a sticker that tells you but not all of them.

That’s why it was good news to see in USA Today a story about about how both Ford and GM will be taking some extra steps to educate their customers and produce even more FFV’s. GM is going to make sure all their FFV models have a yellow gas cap, which will let you know that it can accept the E85 blend! That’s the spirit. Make it easier on people to know they can put the higher octane, domestically-produced fuel in their cars.

Flex Fuel Vehicles

First Day Is Done

Chuck Zimmerman

Well we’ve got day one under our belt here at DomesticFuel. As we stated from the start we hope to be a resource for news and information about renewable fuels like ethanol, which we believe will help us become less dependent on foreign sources of fuel. In the coming weeks and months we’ll continue to develop the site to include links to resources providing factual information for anyone who wants to know the truth. Although we’re going to be dependent on financial support from industry-related organizations we want to offer an independent look at the issues and news coming out on the business. Can we do that? Sure we can. Just watch us.

Our title was chosen because renewable fuels being developed here are often referred to as “domestic fuels.” Do a Google search for those words using the quote marks and you’ll see the large number of results. We want to distinguish our subject matter and perspective. It’s just downright American to want to support our own industries and the people who make them work.

We’re looking for feedback so don’t be shy. We can take it if you don’t like something we say. You can count on our quoting our sources and in fact often directing you to them so you can surf on over and “see for yourself.”

It’s going to be an interesting journey!


Update On Renewable Fuels Standards

Chuck Zimmerman

MO Senator Jim TalentIn case you’re wondering where things stand with new national renewable fuels standards you can hear an update from Missouri Senator Jim Talent. Senator Talent (pictured speaking at an E-85 fuel station in St. Charles, MO) was a guest on the Missouri Corn Growers Association weekly CornTalk program. Talent speaks about his efforts to get the Environmental Protection Agency to move forward on this issue.

U.S. Senator Jim Talent (R-Mo.), co-chair of the Senate Biofuels Caucus, is asking the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to move quickly to implement the new national standard for renewable fuels such as ethanol and biodiesel. In a letter to EPA Administrator Steve Johnson, Sen. Talent, together with Senators Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.), John Thune (R-S.D.) and Tim Johnson (D-S.D.), said time is of the essence, as the Renewable Fuels Standard will take effect next year.

“Given today’s record oil and gasoline prices, the need to diversify our energy supplies by expanding the use of renewable fuels is clear,” the senators wrote. “The Renewable Fuels Standard will provide for the use of 4 billion gallons of renewable fuel next year, growing to 7.5 billion gallons in 2012. The program is a necessary and important part of our nation’s new energy policy.”

You can hear an excerpt from the program here: Download MP3 File


Ethanol Fuel Economy Study

Chuck Zimmerman

American Coalition For EthanolThe American Coalition For Ethanol just released a study on the how well vehicles operate on an ethanol fuel blend.

The American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) released the results of its recent Fuel Economy Study, a pilot study that researched the fuel economy, cost per mile, and driveability of various blends of fuel, including unleaded gasoline, E10, E20, and E30.

“As ethanol production and use continues to expand from coast to coast, increased public discussion and media attention have often turned to a debate over ethanol’s fuel efficiency,” said Ron Lamberty, ACE Vice President / Market Development. “Because there was very little scientific information out there, ACE commissioned a pilot study to determine whether there are variances in gas mileage between ethanol blends and gasoline.”

The research tested unleaded gasoline, a 10% ethanol blend (E10), a 20% ethanol blend (E20), and a 30% ethanol blend (E30) in three late-model vehicles. The Chevrolet Impala, Ford Taurus, and Toyota Camry were not flexible fuel vehicles, and no modifications were made to them for this research. Care was taken to eliminate any human inputs that might render the tests unscientific, including the use of a computerized data logger and strict controls on the vehicles, fuel, and terrain.

Summary results:

Miles per gallon
The three vehicles averaged only 1.5% lower mileage with E10, 2.2% lower mileage with E20, 5.1% lower mileage with E30, and increased mileage of 1.7% when using the specially denatured E10 blend.

Cost per mile
Although the MPG of ethanol blends was slightly lower than the unleaded, the cost per mile of operation was generally lower. Also, the higher the concentrations of ethanol, the lower the cost per mile. Using the study’s average MPG, E10 is less expensive per mile than unleaded until ethanol’s cost is nearly 30 cents above unleaded. On a $20 bill, drivers can travel up to 15 miles farther on ethanol-blended fuel than on straight unleaded.

Contrary to statements commonly made by vehicle manufacturers and technicians, no warning lights were displayed at any time while operating on any of the fuel blends. The data logger used for the research monitored all systems and detected no malfunction indicator lights (MIL), diagnostic trouble code lights (DTC), or emissions DTCs.

Full Study


Growth In Ethanol Demand In India

Chuck Zimmerman

It isn’t just the United States that’s in on the ethanol growth wave. According to a story in the Mumbai, India, Financial Express, “India’s demand of alcohol for blending and other purposes is expected to reach 2,300 million litres by 2009-10 at 5% blending level.” That’s about 608 million gallons if I did my math right. (1 litres = 0.264172051 US gallons)

The story also says that they make ethanol from molasses and that there won’t be enough sugarcane and molasses production there to meet this expected need.

International, Miscellaneous

Get Your Ethanol Magnet

Chuck Zimmerman

Ethanol Promotion & Information CouncilHow’d you like to show your support for ethanol? You can with a free Ethanol magnet from the Ethanol Promotion & Information Council. All you have to do is visit the website here: Free Ethanol Magnet

Hey, wouldn’t it be great if we were all running on E?

If our cars and trucks were running on ethanol-blended gasoline, we’d all be breathing a lot easier. That’s because in addition to delivering superior performance and reliability, ethanol-blended gasoline is a renewable, earth-friendly fuel. Because ethanol burns more completely it cuts down on harmful tailpipe emissions. And it’s made right here in America contributing to local economies across the country.

When you fill up your car with ethanol-blended gasoline you’re making a real difference. You’re not only using a fuel that provides superior performance, but you’re protecting our environment and supporting our economy. That’s got to be a feel-good moment!

EPIC, Miscellaneous, Promotion

Get The Facts About Ethanol

Chuck Zimmerman

Ethanol FactsThe place to get your facts straight when it comes to ethanol is at Ethanol Facts! This website has been created by the National Corn Growers Association to provide reliable information about this renewable energy source.

On Ethanol Facts you’ll not only find information about the different blends of ethanol in gasoline for your car but also about E-diesel. Bet you didn’t even know about that!

Ethanol, Miscellaneous

World Ethanol Analysis Available From JJ&A

Chuck Zimmerman

Jim Jordon & AssociatesA study was just released recently showing how valuable ethanol is as a fuel source.

Jim Jordan & Associates (JJ&A), recently completed a new Ethanol study, assessing Fuel Ethanol’s increasingly important component of the World’s transportation fuel supply.

This Study has been designed to provide background information and useful market observations to participants in the Industry, in Gasoline production and distribution and to Government personnel involved in guiding the use of ethanol. In this Study, we have assembled a highly detailed picture of the ethanol industry, by plant and by location. We have related this to an
equally detailed description of the gasoline supply chains. This is presented in detail with descriptive material to give the reader a clear understanding of the problems and opportunities facing the industry.

For more information about the World Ethanol Analysis contact: Mr. Ed Swinderman at JJ&A, 12941 North Freeway suite 226, Houston, Texas, 77060 U.S.A. Tel: 281-877-7009.

Miscellaneous, Research Has New Design

Chuck Zimmerman

Ethanol Promotion & Information CouncilThe Ethanol Promotion & Research Council has a news website.

“ speaks to consumers in a fun, friendly voice while giving them the story of ethanol. It’s good for your car, better for the environment and made in America, too,” said Tom Slunecka, executive director for Ethanol Promotion and Information Council (EPIC). EPIC launched a consumer Web site, , where consumers can go to learn more about the renewable and environmental friendly fuel ethanol. “Consumers will be able to visit the site to find the important information that they need about ethanol, including how increasing our use of ethanol will help us create more energy independence, and how ethanol effects your car,” says Slunecka.

The site offers some unique content including:

Ask The Expert — a special section where consumers can ask industry
experts questions about ethanol.
Take Action — here consumers can order a free ethanol car magnet,
e-mail friends about the benefits of ethanol and contact their local
American-Made — facts about ethanol and the American economy.

EPIC, Miscellaneous

New Ethanol Plant Planned For Kansas

Chuck Zimmerman

Panda Development GroupTexas-based Panda Energy is planning to build a 100-million-gallon fuel ethanol plant in southwest Kansas. What’s even better than the production of domestically-produced fuel is the fact that the plant will use up a problem by-product of cattle feeding in the area!

The plant will use a billion pounds of cattle manure each year as a renewable fuel to power the plant’s operations. The $120 million facility will refine US corn and milo into fuel ethanol that will be blended with gasoline to produce a clean, low cost fuel for America’s cars and trucks. The ethanol produced in this plant will replace the need to import 100 million gallons of gasoline each year.

The Haskell project is Panda’s third fuel ethanol project announced this year. In May, Panda announced a 100 million gallon plant in Hereford, Texas and in August the company announced that its second facility would be built in Yuma, Colorado. The combined production of the three announced Panda fuel ethanol plants will replace 300 million gallons of imported gasoline annually.

These projects will use a total of three billion pounds of cattle manure a year as a renewable fuel. The manure is gasified and converted into a clean bio-gas used to power the plant. By utilizing bio-gas produced from manure instead of natural gas, each facility will save the equivalent of 1,000 barrels of oil per day.

The company says the plant will produce enough ethanol to replace 100 millions gallons of gas that would have to be imported each year.

Facilities, Miscellaneous