What ChatGPT Knows About Ethanol

What does the artificial intelligence chatbot known as ChatGPT know about ethanol? I decided to chat with ChatGPT and find out.

One question I asked was “Is ethanol fuel good for the environment?”

ChatGPT response:
Ethanol fuel can have both positive and negative impacts on the environment, depending on how it is produced and used.

On the positive side, ethanol fuel is a renewable fuel source that can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other harmful pollutants when used in place of gasoline. Ethanol is produced from crops such as corn, sugarcane, and switchgrass, which absorb carbon dioxide as they grow, helping to offset the emissions from burning the fuel. Ethanol can also reduce emissions of other harmful pollutants such as benzene, a known carcinogen, and particulate matter.

However, there are also some potential negative impacts of ethanol fuel on the environment. For example, producing ethanol from corn and other crops requires significant amounts of water, energy, and other resources. It can also lead to deforestation and habitat destruction as farmers clear land to plant crops for fuel production.

In addition, the use of ethanol fuel in some vehicles and equipment can lead to decreased fuel efficiency, which can increase overall emissions of greenhouse gases and other pollutants.

When questioned about what it knew about E15, ChatGPT gave a brief summary of what it is (15% ethanol, 85% gasoline), how it was approved for use by EPA in 2001 model year and newer vehicles by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 2011, advantages and concerns. “Despite these concerns, E15 fuel is becoming more widely available at gas stations across the United States, and many automakers have approved its use in newer vehicles.”

However, when asked “Can E15 be used in the summer months in the US?” ChatGPT was behind the times, saying “E15 is approved for year-round use in vehicles that are designed to use it…EPA issued a final rule in 2019 that allows for the year-round sale of E15 in the United States, reversing previous regulations that restricted the sale of E15 during the summer months due to concerns about increased emissions from gasoline evaporating in warm weather.”

When I responded that the Supreme Court reversed that rule for E15, ChatGPT apologized and said, “You are correct that the Supreme Court reversed the EPA’s rule allowing for the year-round sale of E15 in the United States. In June 2021, the Supreme Court ruled in a case brought by oil refiners and others that the EPA had exceeded its authority in allowing year-round sales of E15.”

Continuing the conversation, I asked “Will EPA approve E15 sales for this summer?”
As of my knowledge cutoff of September 2021, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had not yet issued a new rule regarding the year-round sale of E15 following the Supreme Court decision. However, it is possible that the EPA may issue a new rule or take other actions to address the ruling and potentially allow for year-round sales of E15 in the future.

In the meantime, it’s important for consumers to be aware of the seasonal restrictions on E15 sales and to check with fuel retailers and state regulatory agencies to determine if E15 is available and approved for use in their vehicles or equipment during the summer months. It’s also important for consumers to follow the recommendations of vehicle and equipment manufacturers regarding the use of ethanol blends and to use caution when using higher ethanol blends in non-approved equipment.

ChatGPT explained that its training data is based on a specific time period, ending September 2021. “However, I may not have information on more recent events or developments unless they were part of my training data or unless I have been updated with new data since then.”

, , ,