With volatile energy costs affecting all Americans, offering flex-fuel vehicle (FFV) owners more choices at the fuel pump makes sense. FFVs are vehicles manufactured to operate on gasoline and up to 85% ethanol (E85), or any mixture of the two, such as mid-level ethanol fuel blends. One way to accomplish this goal is for retail fuel station owners to purchase and install a multi-product fuel dispenser, commonly referred to as a “blender pump.” Blender pumps utilize existing fuels available at the station to offer additional fuel blends directly from the dispenser. New fuel blends such as E20, E30, and E40, offer consumers ethanol blended fuels between 10% and 85% ethanol.
Introduction of new fuel blends is expected as the marketplace incorporates additional biofuel volumes. Mid-level ethanol blended fuels – fuels containing above 15% and below 51% by volume minimum ethanol content allowed in E85 fuels – are being developed. These fuel blends are described as “EXX,” where the letter E stands for “ethanol volume percent” and the “XX” indicates the maximum ethanol content contained in the blend, with the balance of the fuel being unleaded gasoline. Today, these mid-level ethanol blends are restricted for use in FFVs.