Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
smartzuum

Ethanol fuel - Canada considering to increase max blend to 15%

8 posts in this topic

http://nationalpost.com/news/politics/ottawa-looking-at-15-per-cent-ethanol-blend-in-gasoline

 

Quote

OTTAWA — The federal government is looking to increase the amount of ethanol that can be blended into Canadian gasoline by 50 per cent, part of a larger effort to increase the use of low-carbon fuels across the country.

Under current regulations, gasoline in Canada can contain up to 10 per cent ethanol, but a proposed amendment could raise the maximum to 15 per cent in early 2018. A technical committee is making the final decision about the change, according to a spokesperson with Public Services and Procurement Canada. 

The amendment, if adopted, would follow a similar decision in the U.S., where the Environmental Protection Agency in 2010 approved a 15 per cent ethanol blend, or E15, in vehicles from 2001 and later. At the time, many auto manufacturers declared their warranties wouldn’t cover damage caused by fuelling cars with E15, as ethanol can be corrosive at higher concentrations. 

A new federal standard for E15 would not oblige fuel suppliers to increase their ethanol content. Canada currently requires that gasoline be blended with five per cent renewable fuel, and on average, Canadian fuel exceeds that regulation, containing an ethanol blend of six to seven per cent.

But Natural Resources Canada recently put out a request for a study of the number of vehicles equipped for E15 in Canada, and of the infrastructure upgrades required for higher ethanol blends . 

 

In a government tender posted online last month, the department said the new study will show “how well positioned Canada is to benefit from an increase in mid-level ethanol blends,” and would look at “the advantages and barriers of introducing new fuel blends in the market.”

In Canada, most vehicles produced since 2012 are compatible with E15, said Brian Ahearn, western division vice-president of the Canadian Fuels Association. Still, he has concerns about the infrastructure necessary to sell E15 alongside existing gasoline, since not all vehicles would be able to use the higher ethanol blend. “There are infrastructure and retailing challenges,” he said. “There’s work that has to be done right from the refinery right through to the retail side.”

That could include extra tanks and blenders at fuel terminals where ethanol is added to gasoline, he said, and new pumps and tanks at service stations.

Ottawa is currently developing a clean fuel standard, intended to cut carbon emissions by 30 million tonnes annually by 2030. The standard could require a 10 to 15 per cent reduction in the carbon intensity of fuels used in transportation, homes and industry.

Higher ethanol content in gasoline is one way that fuel suppliers could meet the new requirement, Ahearn said. “At the end of it, we’re really looking to reduce greenhouse gases at the best, lowest cost,” he said. “E15 might be one of the opportunity areas.”

Len Coad, director of energy and environment with the Conference Board of Canada, said a policy driver like the clean fuel standard “could pave the way for either a significant increase in ethanol production in Canada or a significant increase in ethanol imports to Canada.”

He said there have been few issues with vehicles using ethanol blends up to 20 per cent, and the standards have been kept lower “out of an abundance of caution.”

But it’s unclear how much customers at the pump could end up paying for more ethanol in their fuel.

One estimate from Clean Energy Canada finds that gasoline prices would be five cents a litre higher in 2030 with a clean fuel standard in place, assuming a 15 per cent ethanol blend is standard by 2025.

But a recently published summary of stakeholder comments on a discussion paper the federal government released earlier this year shows that the cost of a clean fuel standard is a source of concern for many. “One stakeholder mentioned that additional costs stemming from a (clean fuel standard) that consumers would have to bear would be on top of a carbon tax, for instance, resulting in a ‘double hit,’” the report reads.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd have thrown this topic into another forum, except I actually hope we can stick to my preferred interest on this one, which is the effect of ethanol on gasoline ICE and the newer DI type engines in particular

 

If we raise the permitted blend percentage to a maximum of E15, will more people try to avoid buying Canadian gas, or buy a higher Octane blend such as Chevron 94 which has ZERO ethanol?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

94 for my Peugeot baby!!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited) · Report post

I'm all for going to higher ethanol content fuels and developing the infrastructure/cars to use it. I honestly can't imagine it would be that difficult, I see so many people on the "performance" end of things building their cars to run E85 for it's high power potential (thanks to it's cooling effect and anti-knock properties). I think the ideal situation would be to sell a coloured "off road" non-ethanol fuel for use in small engines, like they do with diesel for farm/commercial off road use, which should be cheaper due to not having to pay road taxes. Then have an ethanol-based fuel for road use. If you phase it in over a long enough period of time, there shouldn't be any issues. I mean they already sell flexfuel cars, and, like the leaded-only cars of yesteryear, enthusiasts/collectors will just adapt (grumpily I'm sure).

If the ICE is going to stick around, it's pretty much going to have to run on ethanol or biodiesel as we continue to tackle the problem of net carbon emissions reductions. I'd rather see biodiesel get pushed but we all know how diesels are being bullied out of existence.

Edited by booneylander

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ethanol does nasty things to equipment that sits for several months.  Ask anyone who uses an ethanol blend in their lawn mowers who tries to start them after a winter lay-over.  Lawn and snow removal machines fall into this category, but so do gas powered smarts whose owners  travel south for the winter or just let their cars 'hibernate' over the winter months.

 

If you are one of the above, then this link is something you should look at.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For what it's worth, all the equipment I have gets nothing special for fuel, just 87 octane, in winter when I'm storing things I just add some fuel stabilizer that lists compatibility/effectiveness with ethanol fuels, and have never had an issue with the ethanol rotting anything out. Even after a couple years of sitting I just flush the fuel tank out, fill with fresh, and fire it up. In case that might apply to anyone storing their smarties.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ive never seen corrosion or ethanol damage but i work on many types of small engine equipment and i can definitely tell which customers are using the regular fuel instead of premium

 

on snowblowers for instance ...after sitting all summer the humidity in the air is enough to precipitate the ethanol from the fuel

 

a glass jar is perfect for seeing this...generally youll see a small amount of water and then the fuel will have another separation ..you can clearly see the ethanol that settled out 

 

im always telling customers to use premium but id say at least half ignore me (and i dont mind because it pays my bills and carb cleanings are relatively easy)

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The ethanol doesn't 'damage' anything, but it does leave a crusty, white substance in the carb or injectors.  This tends to block jets and other things, resulting in the need for a cleaning before use after an extended hibernation.  Personal experience with both lawn and snow removal equipment gives me this insight.  The solution is simple though.  Either use a fuel stabilizer or an ethanol-free fuel.  (see the link in post #5 above for locations)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

    Chatbox
    You don't have permission to chat.
    Load More