Impact of Ethanol Fuels on Regulated Tailpipe Emissions
Flexible fuel vehicle production has been steadily increasing in the US over the past fifteen years. Ethanol is considered a renewable fuel additive to gasoline which helps the US efforts in minimizing the dependency on foreign oil. As a result, it is becoming very hard to find pure gasoline which does not contain some ethanol content at the pump in the US. The fuel currently available at the pump contains close to 10% ethanol. The fuel and evaporative systems components and materials on newer flexible fuel vehicles are being designed to be tolerant of the 10% ethanol content. There is a strong desire from ethanol producers to increase the ethanol content up to a 20% level. This is still being debated by the Environmental Protection Agency and a final decision has not been made yet but will be announced by the upcoming Tier 3 Notice of Public Rule Making (NPRM) in December of 2011.