The Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007 is an omnibus energy policy law designed to move the United States toward greater energy security and independence. A key provision of EISA is the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), which requires the nation to use 36 billion gallons per year (BGPY) of renewable fuel in vehicles by 2022.* Ethanol is the most widely used renewable fuel, and increasing the allowable ethanol content from 10% to 15% is expected to push renewable fuel consumption to as much as 21 BGPY. Therefore, a large portion of the 36 billion gallon requirement can be met by increasing the ethanol content in gasoline to 15%. However, raising the ethanol content to 15%, by itself, will still not fully meet the RSF requirement, and concerns have been raised that this increase in ethanol may not be entirely compatible with current and legacy materials used in standard gasoline fueling systems. In the summer of 2008, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recognized the need to assess the impact of intermediate blends of ethanol on the fueling infrastructure, specifically those systems located at the fueling station. A short time later (March 2009), Growth Energy (a coalition of ethanol producers and supporters) requested a waiver from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to allow the use of 15% ethanol in gasoline.†
Oak Ridge National Laboratory
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Funded from the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Bioenergy Technologies Office.