ethanol gasoline

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Ethanol Gasoline

The U.S. and Brazil lead the world in flex fuel vehicles (FFVs), which combine ethanol with gasoline. The ethanol gasoline blend offers several environmental advantages, mainly in terms of pipeline emissions. Ethanol gasoline vehicles typically run on a blend of 85% ethanol (E85) and 15% gasoline. They require very few engine and fuel system modifications and are mostly identical to gasoline-only models. Performance is also very similar to gasoline only vehicles, but mileage can be impacted, with a 25-30% loss.

Although they have become more popular in the last decade, ethanol gasoline vehicles have been produced since the 1980s. These days they may carry a yellow gas cap which some manufacturers have put on them to make identification easier.

An E10 blend (10 per cent ethanol and 90 per cent gasoline) can be used in conventional, non-flex fuel vehicles without any damage to the machinery. In fact, even vintage cars from two decades ago will tolerate well a small amount of ethanol in gasoline. They may need to get new rubber lines and fittings (the ones that suffer most from exposure to ethanol), but in general they can cope well with the ethanol gasoline combination.

In October 2010 the Environmental Protection Agency announced that it would increase to 15% the amount of ethanol (E15) blended into gasoline for cars and trucks manufactured from 2007 onwards. In the case of older vehicles, the E10 rule still applies. The move is only valid to conventional vehicles and does not affect flex fuel E85 models.