Reid vapor pressure (RVP) is one of those scientific terms reminiscent of high school chemistry but it has a significant impact on fuel at the pump, especially in the summer months.
American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) senior vice president Ron Lamberty gave a brief lesson on RVP to attendees at the organization’s annual legislative fly-in this week as they prepared to visit lawmakers and ask them to back legislation the would address how it impacts retail sales of E15. “When you put it in a car, gasoline needs to vaporize so you can burn it, so a higher RVP in the winter is good because it’s colder, but in the summer when it’s hot, gasoline automatically vaporizes a little bit itself,” said Lamberty. EPA’s current rules require gas to have nine pounds of RVP in the summer but adding 10% ethanol, even though it has a lower RVP, the combination increases the total RVP to about 10. The one pound waiver that was added to the rule several years ago dealt with that, but it was specific to 10 percent ethanol only. “That means you can’t use E15 even though it actually has a lower Reid vapor pressure than E10 does,” said Lamberty. The legislation seeks to change that rule.
In this interview, Lamberty gives an update on labeling USDA’s Biofuels Infrastructure Partnership (BIP), and new FTC labeling guidelines for mid-level ethanol blends. Interview with Ron Lamberty, ACE