But ethanol has lower energy density than gasoline and yields fewer miles per gallon.

mandating ethanol-10

Nevertheless, the EPA requires refiners to increase the amounts of ethanol they blend into their motor fuels each year.

This not only increases the percentage of ethanol in motor fuel, but it ultimately exceeds the operational design standards of most automobiles.

However, that’s not true for higher-percentage blends. Testing such as that conducted by the Coordinated Research Council has shown that damage to engine seals, hoses, fuel systems and exhaust systems can occur when ethanol content in fuel rises above 10 percent.

This applies to cars, trucks, motorcycles, boat engines, lawn mowers, snowmobiles and other gasoline-fueled engines.

While the EPA’s biofuels mandate for 2015 is about 17 billion gallons, that number more than doubles to 36 billion gallons by 2022.

Non-food-based biofuels that could be used in place of higher ethanol blends – which the RFS envisioned – are available commercially, but in very limited quantities due to significant technological and economic hurdles.

“The EPA should limit its ethanol mandates to no more than 9.7 percent of total U. Biofuels research includes collaborating with Iowa State University on using heat to convert biomass into intermediates, which can then be upgraded into fuel, and research involving advanced biofuels from algae.

Other important programs include the study of advanced technologies for increasing fuel economy by separating fuel into high- and low-octane streams, which the engine can use to optimize fuel economy during driving.

The EPA’s biofuels regulations are part of a renewable fuel standard (RFS) first legislated by Congress in 2005 and amended in 2007.