Debate continues over ethanol

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The debate over increasing the ethanol blend in gasoline continues to make national headlines.

The New York Times recently published an article detailing the proposal by Growth Energy – a group of ethanol producers – to increase ethanol to E15 from the current E10. The story reports on several industry and environmental groups that oppose the increase.

Kris Kiser, executive vice president of the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute, a trade group, estimates that a change would affect 300 million engines in everything from chainsaws to weed trimmers, the Times reports.

Citing the National Marine Manufacturers Association, the Times notes that 12 million boat engines would be affected by the higher ethanol blend.

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Comments

2 comments on “Debate continues over ethanol

  1. Mark D. Kinter

    Many of the current problems with “gasahol” stem from the fact that older boats have deposits in the fuel system that the ethanol dislodges.  This is not dis-similar to the situations that happened in the early years of gasahol useage in cars in the midwest.
    Once the deposits are cleaned out most of the problems are resolved.  One that does linger however, is that the gasahol doesn’t have such a good “shelf life”.  When it evaporates in older carburetors, it leaves behind deposits that tend to plug up the carbs pretty bad.
    I use gasahol, but I also use “SeaFoam” along with every tank of fuel I use.  As long as I use name brand (BP) fuel with additional additives and Seafoam, I have no problems.  If I use no-name fuels and those with higher ethanol content the problems return.
    An increase in the ethanol content will surely lead to more problems.
    In addition, the ethanol industry is a shaky, government supported, industry that has questionable environmental impacts.  It has been estimated that to make one gallon of ethanol, 20 gallons of water are required.  At some point in the near future we’ll be fighting wars over clean water, not oil.

  2. Augusto Villalon

    What I would like to know is the answer to this question: How come, the country which is supposed to be the highest in technology cannot solve the technical problem they are complaining about when countries like Brazil is using 25% ethanol successfully for over 30 years. All we seem to know to do today is complain. If we could solve this little problem we could by from American farmers what we are buying from the Arabs, Russians and others today.
    Kiko

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