June 7, 2010, Chicago – U.S. ethanol producer Archer Daniels Midland Co. asked the Environmental Protection Agency to allow U.S. fuel blends with up to 12 per cent ethanol while the EPA continues to review an earlier request to raise the U.S. ethanol blend rate to 15 percent.
June 7, 2010, Chicago – U.S. ethanol producer Archer Daniels Midland Co. asked the Environmental Protection Agency to allow U.S. fuel blends with up to 12 per cent ethanol while the EPA continues to review an earlier request to raise the U.S. ethanol blend rate to 15 per cent.
Worries that higher blends could damage engines of older vehicles are among the top concerns delaying an EPA ruling on a March 2009 request by ethanol supporters to raise the blend rate as high as 15 percent, up from 10 percent currently.
ADM said that the EPA could allow the marketing of fuel blends with up to 12 percent ethanol, known as E12, to all vehicles because it is “substantially similar” to the current E10 fuel blends.
A move to E12 could serve as something of a stepping stone to an eventual E15 blend and could help to alleviate a growing supply glut of the corn-based biofuel which has been pressuring prices.
“The U.S. ethanol market has reached a point of saturation. Right now, the industry is producing more than the market can absorb,” ADM CEO Patricia Woertz said in a letter to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson.
“Quick action by the EPA approving enhanced blends of ethanol for all vehicle model years could right this imbalance,” she said.
The EPA may rule to partially implement E15 blends for use only in newer vehicles, but ADM said consumers would be slow to accept the fuel if it is not approved for all vehicles. An EPA ruling was expected this summer.
“If the EPA cannot, in the near term, approve blends up to and including E15 for all vehicle model years, it should consider and approve under the Growth Energy petition an enhanced blend of up to and including E12 as an alternative,” Woertz said.
U.S. law requires that 36 billion gallons (136 billion litres) of renewable fuels be blended into the U.S. fuel supply by 2022, a goal ADM said could not be achieved without higher blends.
Decatur, Illinois-based ADM is among the top ethanol producers in the United States, with the capacity to produce up to 1.8 billion gallons of ethanol a year.