Low Level Ethanol Blends Fall Out of Favor in California, but E85 May be on the Rise

July 18, 2006

When MTBE was banned in California in 2003, low-level blends of ethanol entered the market. Now, California state air regulators are concerned about increases in evaporative and tailpipe emissions from low-level ethanol blended gasoline.

Because low-level blends of ethanol can contribute to increased evaporative and tailpipe emissions of hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides (NOx), California air regulators are looking to regulate the use of low-level ethanol blends in the state.

There are several options available to the California Air Resources Board (CARB). One option is to prohibit low-level ethanol blending, but expand the use to E85 (a blend of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline). E85 has fewer emissions issues, which may be why CARB is considering restricting low-level ethanol blending and mandating the use of E85.

Source: EnergyWashington.com