Claremore Daily Progress

October 3, 2012

Motorists choosing alternative fuel, ethanol becoming popular

Aubrie Wood
Special to the Progress

CLAREMORE — Throughout Claremore, there are signs advertising the sale of E85, E10, or ethanol-free gas. 

Ethanol is an alcohol-based fuel made by fermenting and distilling starch crops, such as corn, according to www.fueleconomy.gov. 
When used in engines, there are three concentrations of ethanol fuel to choose from: E10, E15, and E85.
E10, also known as gasohol, is sold throughout the country. It is a blend of 10 percent ethanol and ninety percent gasoline, approved by all auto manufacturers for use in their gasoline vehicles. Also stated by www.fueleconomy.gov, however, is the fact that vehicles will usually go three to four percent fewer miles per gallon on E10 than on pure gasoline. 
For everyday gas purchases, there are many local options. For example, on Blue Starr, the Swift-Mart offers pure gasoline, without ethanol. 
However, the Kum & Go on the same street does include ethanol in its fuel. The available concentrations are often displayed prominently at the pump.
These different concentrations have an effect on which car a consumer drives. 
As stated by John Whorton, of John’s Auto Repair, a newer E15 solution is approved by the EPA for 2001 to current models. 
For older cars, though, Whorton clarified that various fuel system components are not compatible with ethanol fuels.  
The alcohol content causes corrosion and swelling of the rubber gaskets, leading to an increase of vehicle maintenance needed.  
Luckily, in more high-performance engines, the worst side-effect of using ethanol gas is the reduced power and gas mileage. 
A consumer’s best reference would be to check the driver’s manual to see what is recommended for their vehicle.