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Shattering the blend wall as easy as boosting E85 sales

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) contends that its proposal to sharply reduce the 2014 requirement for ethanol use in the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) was driv­­en by the lack of infrastructure in the nation’s fuel supply system. The ag­­ency said the reductions were inevitable because it is too difficult to go beyond a 10 percent blend of ethanol in the U.S. gasoline total, the so-called blend wall.

But the agency’s reasoning doesn’t consider increased use of E85, according to a new paper written by Bruce Babcock and Sebastien Pouliot at Iowa State University’s Center for Ag­­ricultural Research and Dev­elopment (CARD).

By pushing to increase consumption of E85, a fuel that contains up to 85 percent ethanol, through increased outlets and more rational...




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