I haven’t written about the gasoline vs ethanol debate since 2008 (100% Gas Sold Here) but I was reminded again in Oklahoma last week. My brother wanted to make sure we could get gasoline instead of “alcohol.” He was buying the fuel for the rental car so I didn’t question it.
Pure gasoline advocates say the vehicle runs better and goes farther on a gallon. Gasoline in St. Louis is actually E10 or E15, a blend of mostly gasoline with some ethanol, aka gasohol.
Ethanol is an alcohol-based fuel made by fermenting and distilling starch crops, such as corn. It can also be made from “cellulosic biomass” such as trees and grasses. The use of ethanol can reduce our dependence upon foreign oil and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
E10 (also called “gasohol”) is a blend of 10% ethanol and 90% gasoline sold in many parts of the country. All auto manufacturers approve the use of blends of 10% ethanol or less in their gasoline vehicles. However, vehicles will typically go 3–4% fewer miles per gallon on E10 than on straight gasoline. (fueleconomy.gov)
The rental car was actually a GM flex fuel vehicle so we could’ve filled up with E85.
Ethanol is touted as a reducing pollution as well as being domestically produced, reducing dependance on foreign oil. The 100% gasoline costs a bit more per gallon, but again you can go farther on each gallon. Thoughts?
– Steve Patterson