End Of Mogas Near?

  • E-Mail this Article
  • View Printable Article
  • Text size:

    • A
    • A
    • A

A publication for antique car buffs is reporting the Environmental Protection Agency is intent on ending the production of ethanol-free gasoline, known in aviation as Mogas. Hemmings Daily said the Renewable Fuels Standard issued by the EPA a couple of weeks ago sets eliminating ethanol-free gasoline as a goal. It quotes the EPA as saying it plans to “continue incentivizing the market to transition from E0 to E10 and other higher level ethanol blends.” While the EPA doesn’t set ethanol levels in fuel, it is mandated by law to set the amount of ethanol and other renewable fuels that must be blended into the U.S. fuel supply. A powerful lobby of U.S. corn producers maintains constant pressure to increase ethanol volumes.

For 2017, the EPA increased the amount of ethanol that must be used in gasoline sold in the U.S. by 6 percent to 19.28 billion gallons, or about 10.7 percent of the total gasoline supply. Most automotive gasolines have slightly less than 10 percent ethanol and all modern vehicle engines are designed to use those fuels. Manufacturers can void warranties if a higher concentration is used in their vehicles. But there are blends that have 15 percent or more ethanol and can be used in so-called flex fuel vehicles. The threat to Mogas comes with the theory that as ethanol volumes required by the EPA increase, there is less room to allow production of ethanol-free gas because of the so-called 10 percent “blend wall” that refiners are reluctant to breach in their mainstream fuels. That means more flex fuel blends will have to be sold to absorb the increased ethanol volume.

Marine and off-road vehicle engine manufacturers are leading the battle against the demise of ethanol-free fuel because their engines and operating environments make them more susceptible to alcohol-related damage. The EPA claims ethanol-free fuel is a preference rather than a requirement for virtually all other engines, like those in old cars and airplanes, even though the FAA specifically bans the use of ethanol-blended fuels in the automotive fuel STCs it issues for certified aircraft. “With the exception of the oldest engines, essentially all vehicles and engines currently in use have been designed to be compatible with E10,” the EPA says in its response to comments opposing the increased use of ethanol. There are about 110 airports selling Mogas in the U.S., according to the website flyunleaded.com. Many more aircraft owners buy Mogas at gas stations and fill their tanks from jerry cans at considerable cost savings.

Comments (7)

Hopefully, President-elect Trump's EPA designate can stop this when he gets in office. Just another example of bureaucracy running wild!

Posted by: matthew wagner | December 18, 2016 2:13 PM    Report this comment

The time has come to start the elimination of ethanol for all gasoline engines. The government has made it clear that a percentage of all auto fuels must be 10 or 15 percent biofuel. The problem is ethanol is the wrong biofuel. An unleaded biofuel can now be produced that has no known negative effects to any internal combustion engine. It can be derived from corn (just like ethanol), or any bio feedstock that produces sugars. It can also by derived from natural gas or petroleum products (oil). Autos don't like ethanol. Boats don't like ethanol. Off road vehicles don't like ethanol. Aircraft don't like ethanol. Other than the corn producers, who likes ethanol? It ruins engines due to its hydroscopic properties.(water ruins all engines) If need be, keep the corn producers and their lobbyists happy by using corn as well as other derivatives to make a practical biofuel that can be used in all engines. This fuel would also allow mogas to continue as an approved avgas! SwiftFuel has developed and is now distributing their 94 0ctane No Lead avgas and also has produced a lead free 102 octane avgas that nearing the end EPA and other government testing.

Posted by: Greg Morton | December 19, 2016 2:38 AM    Report this comment

I can't help but wonder if the EPA under Trump might be more willing (i.e. reasonable) in their approach to pushing ethanol down our throats. My guess is that the EPA's recently released Renewable Fuel Standard will be reviewed and altered under Trump. While we all want clean water, air, land, etc - I really hope the days of the EPA abusing their power (i.e. once rain puddles on your land they think they have control over it) are coming to an end!

Posted by: Dave B | December 19, 2016 8:37 AM    Report this comment

I can't help but wonder if the EPA under Trump might be more willing (i.e. reasonable) in their approach to pushing ethanol down our throats. My guess is that the EPA's recently released Renewable Fuel Standard will be reviewed and altered under Trump. While we all want clean water, air, land, etc - I really hope the days of the EPA abusing their power (i.e. once rain puddles on your land they think they have control over it) are coming to an end!

Posted by: Dave B | December 19, 2016 8:38 AM    Report this comment

Whether or not you agree with putting ethanol in gasoline (I don't), the real blunder was in how they worded the law requiring its use. The corn lobby cleverly pushed that the law require a given VOLUME of ethanol be produced each year for gasoline blending, rather than mandating that motor gas have a specific PERCENTAGE of ethanol. That gave their farmers a stable market that would not be subject to fluctuations of fuel consumption. Now that U.S. gasoline consumption is dropping due to more fuel efficient (and alternate fuel) vehicles, the refiners are faced with increasing the percentage of ethanol in their fuels to consume the fixed volume of ethanol. Plus, the corn lobby continues to press for increased production which will only make the situation worse. Eliminating all non-alcohol mogas is their way to justify the higher production levels.

The science behind ethanol in gasoline is suspect at best. This is simple politics and a public too ignorant to see beyond the hype. Whether you wanted to see Trump elected or not, we should all hope his EPA administration will put the public's best interests over the farm lobby.

Posted by: John McNamee | December 19, 2016 11:44 AM    Report this comment

Ethanol in fuel, called gasohol at the time, was motivated by the fuel shortages of the 1970's, not MTBE replacement or environmental concerns as seems now to be the revision of history. Wikipedia claims it is an MTBE replacement which is false as this would be known to anyone who was acutally there at the time. There is even a 1979 Texaco commercial featuring Bob Hope which alludes to the oil shortage. Read the Energy Tax Act of 1978 which created tax credits ostensibly to deal with the oil shortage and support corn prices. This included a 50c/gallon tarrif on imported ethanol and gov guaranteed loans up to 90% for construction.

At this point we do not need, we don't want, and there is no good reason for ethanol in gasoline.

Posted by: FILL CEE | December 19, 2016 12:01 PM    Report this comment

1979 Texaco com'l - ethanol as a fuel extender b/c of OPEC caused oil shortage and NOT an MTBE sub per wikipedia

You'll have ot search for it because this site thinks the link is spam.

Posted by: FILL CEE | December 19, 2016 12:37 PM    Report this comment

Add your comments

Log In

You must be logged in to comment

Forgot password?

Register

Enter your information below to begin your FREE registration