There is FAR more DIS-information than information regarding "reformulated" (oxygenated etc) fuels than is good for the discussion. BOTH sides are using slight of hand tactics to put their spin in the best possible light, niether are being wholly honest or forthcomming about the facts.
FACT: If we used 100% of the Ag land in the USA we couldn't grow enough corn to produce an amount of ethanol covering even 50% of our (gasoline) energy demand. Plus, we would all starve.
FACT: EVERY single engine manufacturer from B&S to Volvo states that (ethanol) "blended" fuel *can* be used up to 10% by volume. That has been the case for years, but not 25 years. Up until 1988, most engine manufacturers were publishing a 5% guideline, in 1998 that mostly changed to 10%.
FACT: Carburated engines run hotter and leaner on ethanol blended fuel than on neat gasoline. The AFR for ethanol is RICHER than that for gasoline, period. Unless you make modifications to the jetting, if you run blended gas, you are lean. Lean AFR = HOT AFR.
FACT: Blended (ethanol) fuels have a reduced shelf-life. Typically, 2-3 weeks and shorter in hot or humid climates (gulf and deserst SW). This is because ethanol will absorb moisture from the atmosphere and because it has a higher vapor pressure. Storing in a SEALED container will tend to increase shelf-life.
FACT: You should not store SGEs with gas in the tank. Duh, that has never been different, or more true. As others have correctly pointed out, they are VENTED and that's bad for shelf-life.
FACT: Most modern EFI engines can be operated on E15 w/o a serious risk. The EFI system adjusts within limits to minimize risk the engine.
FACT: Not all engines use the same fuel system parts. Some hose suppliers may have product that will work with E15, while others may have troubles at E5. Same for carb jets and injector parts.
FACT: Gasoline degrades hoses. But, ethanol blends do it faster.
FACT: Ethanol can reduce our dependance on foreign oil. So can outlawing drive-thru windows.
FACT: Ethanol is a great motor fuel, but it has limitations like any other.
FACT: Neat ethanol has a much lower energy density (BTU/# or BTU/gal) than gasoline.
FACT: E85 has almost exactly 2/3 (66%) the energy content of the equivelant grade of neat gasoline.
FACT: Ethanol is an inexpensive octane booster. Lead and MTBE are cheaper, and outlawed.
FACT: You CAN sell blended (reformulated) gasoline with an ethanol content above 10% even if the pump is marked "up to 10%" IF it is sold in a "non-attainment" region (like Minneapolis, DFW or Denver).
10-4,thats the way I see it too.
Truth is, carburetors had to be rebuilt every now and then even when they were still selling leaded gas. And sometimes you got a tank of bad gas...or water in your tank. And sometimes hoses blew up just 'cause. Now just about every time that happens it's blamed on ethanol, whether that was actually the cause or not.
Look at race cars that only run on "race" fuel. They have fuel issues all the time too...
I wouldn't be surprised if Oregon is one of the first places to start an E15 requirement...*sigh*
But heck, my boat still calls for 90 octane "leaded regular" (LOL!) and she runs fine on (fresh) E10. I did have to rebuild the carbs last year but I blame that on old age more than ethanol.
I'm one of those types that doesn't bother to maintain the lawnmower, it sits outside in the rain all winter full of gas and oil. Every spring I drain and refill the fluids, and it fires right up. After about 5 years of this it could use some work, by that time I just pop a new engine on it for around $100. :D
BOTH sides are using slight of hand tactics to put their spin in the best possible light, niether are being wholly honest or forthcomming about the facts.
Unless I am using my Stihls every day during wood cutting seasons, I drain the tank back to my storage jug and run the engine dry ever time I use them. Been doing this for years and never had a gas problem. It takes about 2 minutes.
Congressional Budget Office states that cutting carbon emissions by one metric ton via ethanol runs to $754.
To put that number in perspective, the budget gnomes estimate that the price for a ton of carbon under the cap-and-tax program that the House passed last summer would be about $26 in 2019.
CBO is also honest enough to mention that in reality $754 may be purchasing a net carbon emissions increase.
"Because the production of ethanol draws so much energy from coal and natural gas it can be thought of as a method for converting natural gas or coal to a liquid fuel that can be used for transportation." Meanwhile, the assumptions of their model also exclude indirect land-use changes toward energy-intensive crops that also boost overall CO2.
Given these realities, the only mystery is how the Ethanol Industry has managed to produce a wasteful biofuel that no one would willingly buy but has managed to be subsidized over four decades at costs that are higher than anyone ever imagined, since it could never make a profit.