The National Renewable Energy Laboratory has reviewed 43 studies on the effects of E15 on engine durability, emissions and other factors and issued a report that says the available literature did not show meaningful differences between E15 and E10 in any performance category. As for the Coordinating Research Council’s engine durability study – NREL found the conclusion that engines will experience mechanical engine failure when operating on E15 is not supported by the data. NREL’s objective was to assess the research conducted to date regarding the effects of E15 in model year 2001 and newer vehicles – including aspects not considered by the Environmental Protection Agency when approving the ethanol blend. Further underscoring EPA approval of the safety and efficacy of E15 – NREL experts found that 2001 and newer vehicles are well equipped to adapt to the ethanol content in both E10 and E15.
Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Bob Dinneen says the disputed CRC engine durability study has been at the center of Big Oil’s political crusade against E15. He adds that policymakers have been given the false impression that the CRC project is the one and only study that has been conducted on E15. But he says the NREL report reflects a substantial review of literature on E15 research showing no meaningful concern with using the fuel and exposes the many methodological shortcomings of studies the American Petroleum Institute is citing on engine durability.
Dinneen says it’s time for Big Oil to start paying attention to the overwhelming data and real world experience demonstrating the efficacy of E15. The NREL report identified numerous flaws and gaps in several of the studies reviewed. Regarding the CRC engine durability study – NREL cited faulty leakdown failure criteria, failure to use E10 as a control fuel and inappropriate statistical analysis. According to Dinneen – by critically examining the universe of studies on mid-level ethanol blends – the NREL report brings important context and scientific credibility back to the debate over E15. He says the report provides an appreciation for the entire body of scientific work on E15 and will undoubtedly assist policymakers and the public in recognizing the substantial body of research that has been conducted on E15 showing no evidence of deterioration in engine durability or maintenance issues.
Source: NAFB News Service