topbanner ad

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Ethanol damages engines

EPA acknowledges that ethanol damages engines 

THE U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has publicly acknowledged that ethanol in gasoline can damage internal combustion engines by increasing exhaust temperatures and indirectly causing component failures, the American Motorcyclist Association reports. 

According to the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) the EPA statements are found in a rule proposal issued by the Federal Trade Commission regarding a new label for pumps that supply fuel blends high in ethanol. 

According to the EPA, ethanol "impacts motor vehicles in two primary ways. First, ethanol enleans the [air/fuel] ratio (increases the proportion of oxygen relative to hydrocarbons) which can lead to increased exhaust gas temperatures and potentially increase incremental deterioration of emission control hardware and performance over time, possibly causing catalyst failure. 

"Second, ethanol can cause materials compatibility issues, which may lead to other component failures. In motorcycles and non-road products [using E15 and higher ethanol blends], EPA [has] raised engine-failure concerns from overheating." 

The AMA says that these EPA statements contained in the FTC document back their long-held position. 

"The American Motorcyclist Association has fought the distribution of E15 fuel blends in an effort to protect motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles from the damage that ethanol causes," said Wayne Allard, AMA Vice President for government relations.
"Now the EPA acknowledges that ethanol itself is harmful to emissions hardware and other components on all motor vehicles. It is time for the federal government to pause, take a hard look at this product and change its entire approach to ethanol in fuels." 

E15 is a gasoline formulation that contains up to 15 percent ethanol by volume. 

None of the estimated 22 million motorcycles and ATVs currently in operation can use fuels with blends higher than 10 percent ethanol. Doing so could void the manufacturer's warranty, in addition to causing damage to the vehicle. 

The AMA applauded the EPA's decision in its proposed rule to roll back the requirement for wider distribution and use of E15 under its Renewable Fuel Standard.
Earlier this year the EPA announced that it was adopting E10 (10 percent ethanol content) as its standard test fuel, effective 2017, resisting pressure to back the higher content E15.