Have you seen any new E15, 15 percent ethanol pumps at your local gas station recently? The rollout of this approved blend of ethanol, a 5 percent higher blend than the E10 at Indiana gas stations, has been slow. But Tom Buis of Growth Energy, who was in the Hoosier state in July for NASCAR’s Brickyard race, says the economics will eventually drive the fuel into the marketplace.
“E15 is cheaper,” he told HAT. “It’s higher octane than E10. A lot of the retailers who are putting it in are putting it in as a mid-grade, an 88-89 octane, at a cheaper price than E10. That’s the way eventually E10 saturated the marketplace. The economics are driving it because if you’re a retailer and your competition is offering a better fuel at a cheaper price, you’ll soon be adding it yourself. So we’re positive it’s going to happen. We know there have been so many hurdles erected to try to slow it down.”
One of the hurdles over the years has been the so-called food vs. fuel. Buis calls that the biggest lie he’s ever heard in Washington, and he has lived there almost 30 years.
“It was made up to basically undercut the support for renewable fuels, and you know we don’t take anything out of that kernel of corn except the starch. Worldwide there’s an excess of starch. All of the good stuff in that kernel of corn for animals is the protein, fiber and oil and that all comes out in a co-product called distillers grains. The critics never want to talk about that and they think people eat #2 yellow corn, which is what we produce ethanol out of. Far from it.”
Buis goes on to say that ethanol isn’t produced out of sweet corn, canned corn, popcorn, caramel corn or candy corn.