Gold Eagle Examines Ethanol-Blended Gasoline

From Power Equipment Trade

How is gasoline produced? What is ethanol’s impact on gasoline? What is phase separation? To better understand the complexity of gasoline refinery and use of ethanol-blended gasoline, Gold Eagle Co., an industry pioneer of aftermarket fluids and additives and maker of STA-BIL, HEET and START YOUR ENGINES!, today issued a new research paper entitled, “Petroleum Production, Distribution and Discussion of the use of Ethanol Blended Gasoline.”

“Through our conversations with our retail customers and consumers, we believe there is a need to educate the general public on the gasoline refinery process because there is much mis-information, particularly when it comes to ethanol-blended gasoline,” said Mike Profetto, vice president of Product Engineering at Gold Eagle Co. “We developed a white paper to shed light on the complexity of gasoline—particularly the refining and distribution process and to explain the technical aspects as to why gasoline is designed to meet ASTM specifications. The report also highlights the history of ethanol and governmental requirements for biofuels through 2022 and defines ethanol blend fuel specifications and its use throughout the U.S.”

As defined in the report, gasoline is a complex mixture of components, each possessing unique physical and chemical properties. Different engines require different gasoline depending on the engine’s fuel system, optimal engine temperature, fuel pump and fuel pressure. Other factors to consider are where and how the engine is being used in terms of climate, altitude and operator driving patterns. The white paper outlines three common measures of gas quality: octane, volatility and additives.

According to the report, the prevalence and availability of ethanol-blended gasoline continues to grow and is becoming a major player in the production of gasoline. In 1980, only 175 million gallons of ethanol were produced. In 2008, an estimated nine billion gallons of ethanol were produced, and more than 70% of all gasoline sold in the U.S. contained ethanol, and in 2010, an estimated 13.23 billion gallons of ethanol were produced. The government recently agreed to allow the use and sale of fuel containing up to 15% ethanol for 2007 and newer vehicles in specific vehicle model years with exceptions for small engines, marine and other specific engine types.

“We believe that by staying informed about ethanol’s functionality and impact on vehicle performance, automotive repair personnel and consumers alike can help ensure they take proper preventative measures to ensure their vehicles continue to operate smoothly,” said Profetto.

According to this report, the benefits of using ethanol in fuels include production of cleaner-burning fuels, reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, and less dependency on foreign oil. It also helps consumers and repair professionals understand the facts regarding ethanol-blended gasoline and any drawbacks from using it. The report finds that ethanol has little effect on gasoline performance, and what effect it does have is regulated. Federal agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the American Society of Testing and Material (ASTM) set standards on volatility, fuel deposits, octane and other variables in ethanol-blended gasoline that must be met by producers to mitigate or eliminate any minor drawbacks.

The white paper was developed by Mike Profetto of Gold Eagle and cites data and research from reputable sources including the United States Department of Energy and Renewable Fuels Association. You can download a copy of the complete white paper in PDF format by clicking here.


    • Paul Sikkema

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