NREL Report (October, 2008) – EFFECTS OF INTERMEDIATE ETHANOL BLENDS ON LEGACY VEHICLES AND SMALL NON-ROAD ENGINES
News Media Contact(s):
Jennifer Scoggins, (202) 586-4940
For Immediate Release
October 7, 2008
Fact Sheet: Effects of Intermediate Ethanol Blends
In August 2007, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) initiated a test program to assess the potential impacts of higher intermediate ethanol blends on conventional vehicles and other engines that rely on gasoline. The test program focuses specifically on the effects of intermediate blends of E15 and E20—gasoline blended with 15 and 20 percent ethanol, respectively—on emissions, catalyst and engine durability, drivability or operability, and materials associated with these vehicles and engines. This DOE test program includes technical expertise from DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and Oak Ridge National Laboratory.This preliminary report, the first in a series of peer-reviewed reports that will summarize the results of intermediate ethanol blends, provides results from testing E15 and E20 on 13 popular late-model vehicles and 28 small non-road engines, including lawn equipment and generators.Vehicle results include the following when E15 and E20 were compared with traditional gasoline:
- Tailpipe emissions were similar;
- Under normal operations, catalyst temperatures in the 13 cars were largely unchanged;
- When tested under full-throttle conditions, about half of the cars exhibited slightly increased catalyst temperatures with E15 and E20, compared to traditional gasoline; and,
- Based on informal observations during testing, drivability was unchanged.
Small non-road engine results include the following when E15 and E20 were compared with traditional gasoline:
- As ethanol content increased:
- Regulated emissions generally stayed within allowed limits,
- Engine and exhaust temperatures increased;
- Commercial engines, as well as larger non-handheld residential engines in this limited study, exhibited no particular sensitivity to ethanol from a durability perspective; and,
- The effect of E15 and E20 on the durability of smaller, less-expensive handheld residential engines was not clear.
The full intermediate blend report is now available.
U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Public Affairs, Washington, D.C.
Renergie was formed by Ms. Meaghan M. Donovan on March 22, 2006 for the purpose of raising capital to develop, construct, own and operate a network of ten ethanol plants in the parishes of the State of Louisiana which were devastated by hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Each ethanol plant will have a production capacity of five million gallons per year (5 MGY) of fuel-grade ethanol. Renergie’s “field-to-pump” strategy is to produce non-corn ethanol locally and directly market non-corn ethanol locally. On February 26, 2008, Renergie was one of 8 recipients, selected from 139 grant applicants, to share $12.5 million from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Renewable Energy Technologies Grants Program. Renergie received $1,500,483 (partial funding) in grant money to design and build Florida’s first ethanol plant capable of producing fuel-grade ethanol solely from sweet sorghum juice. On April 2, 2008, Enterprise Florida, Inc., the state’s economic development organization, selected Renergie as one of Florida’s most innovative technology companies in the alternative energy sector. On January 20, 2009, Florida Energy & Climate Commission amended RET Grant Agreement S0386 to increase Renergie’s funding from $1,500,483 to $2,500,000. By blending fuel-grade ethanol with gasoline at the gas station pump, Renergie will offer the consumer a fuel that is renewable, more economical, cleaner, and more efficient than unleaded gasoline. Moreover, the Renergie project will mark the first time that Louisiana farmers will share in the profits realized from the sale of value-added products made from their crops.