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Looking for E15 But Can't Find It? Blend It Yourself!


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Get cleaner air and water; help make us energy independent;
and save money all at the same time

By Marc J. Rauch
Exec. Vice President/Co-Publisher
THE AUTO CHANNEL


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Marc J. Rauch
Perhaps you've already heard the great news that E15 fuel is now approved in the United States for year-round sales. Hopefully you also already know that E15 provides higher octane than E10 and that it is just as safe and efficient to use as E10 or E0.

You may be wondering where you can find E15. Well, more service stations across the country are starting to carry E15, and there are some welcome reports that retailers like Casey's General Stores will be offering E15 at dozens of more locations over the coming weeks.

But, here you are, today, on the 75th anniversary of the D-Day Landings in Europe, wanting to do your part to keep the world free from any kind of foreign domination, and you can't find a single fuel pump that offers E15.

Do what I do...what I have done for the past decade or so...I make my own E15. In fact, you can do what I have safely and economically done to make my own E20, E30, E40, and even higher "custom blends" for use in both non-flex fuel and flex fuel vehicles: I splash-blend my way to saving money and contributing to a healthier environment.

It's easy to do. First, locate any fuel retailer that sells E85. Put in the desired amount of E85 into your tank, and then move to a regular E10 pump and fill the tank the rest of the way to average out at the target blend level. Can your vehicle safely and efficiently use E15? Yes, of course. In fact, all gasoline-powered vehicles on the road can safely and efficiently use E15 and higher ethanol-gasoline blends. How do I know? Simple! In 2010, the EPA issued their advisory that all vehicles manufactured after 2001 could safely and efficiently use E15. In the press conference held by the EPA, I asked if any other blends were tested, and the EPA Administrator answered that E20 was also tested. In follow up questions, I was told that the results for E20 were comparable to E10 and E15 - in other words, just as safe.

So then, you may ask, what about vehicles manufactured before 2001, can they use E15, too? Yes, absolutely! How do I know this? Also simple; Ricardo Labs (perhaps the oldest and best known private laboratories working in this area) declared that all vehicles manufactured after the early 1990's can safely use E15.

In addition, in Brazil (a South American country roughly as large as the continental U.S. with a population that's approximately equal to the combined populations of the United Kingdom, France, and Germany), their regular standard gasolina is E27. The land and water vehicles used in Brazil are virtually the same as those used in the United States, Canada, Mexico, all of Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia/New Zealand. If a 1986 Chevy Camaro can run safely and economically on E27 on the streets of Sao Paulo, a 1986 Camaro can run safely and economically on the streets of Atlanta using E15, E20, E25, and E27 (and higher). If a Mercury Marine outboard motor can safely run on E27 in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Rio de Janeiro, it can safely run on E27 in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans off the coast of any North America, European, African, or Austral-Asian city.

By the way, Brazil has been using ethanol-gasoline blend levels that exceed E15 since 1978. And before 1978, going back to the 1920's, ethanol-gasoline blends were regularly sold in Great Britain and Europe, and marketed as being superior in every way to gasoline without ethanol. And the oil companies doing this marketing were the largest in the world, such as Standard Oil (you know, Exxon/Mobil). SEE: The Hypocrisy of Big Oil

Now, if you're uncertain as to how much E85 you should actually use to splash blend your own E15 or E20, use this guide:

    Let's say your tank holds 16 gallons of fuel. To splash blend E15, you would use a skosh more than 1 gallon of E85 and then 15 gallons of E10.

    To make your own E20, put in a skosh more than 2 gallons of E85 and then about 14 gallons of E10.

    To go full "Brazilian" (E27), put in about 3.5 gallons of E85 and approximately 12.5 gallons of E10.

Keep in mind that E85 has an octane level of about 108, compared to E10, which generally has an octane rating of 87. Therefore, your splash-blend of E15 would have a higher octane rating than E10, and this is what you'd want (commercial E15 has an octane rating of 88).

Incidentally, tests over the years have shown that certain higher blend levels (i.e., E30) will produce equal or better mileage than E10 and even E0.

One last thing, the warranty issue: If you're concerned that your use of these splash blends will void your warranty, then don't do it. However, the overwhelming majority of newer vehicles are warrantied for E15. For a complete list CLICK HERE.

If you're not concerned, or your vehicle is out of warranty, then give it a try. I think you'll be delighted by the results. If you do try splash-blending E15 or higher levels please let us know the results so that we can compile them and share with interested parties.


For more information on tests and studies that verify the results of higher level ethanol-gasoline blends see the following:

Passing The Test With Flying Colors

Effects of High-Octane Ethanol Blends

Study Finds Certain Ethanol Blends Can Provide Better Fuel Economy Than Gasoline

The Effect of Ethanol-Gasoline Blends - University of Nottingham...

The Effect of Ethanol-Gasoline Blends

High performance Wayne State ethanol car wins 1998 Ethanol Vehicle Challenge

Ethanol Vehicle Challenge

Freedom of choice: E20 ethanol blends take the value crown from gasoline, E10

ACE Optimal Ethanol Blend Level Study