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New Ethanol-based Fuel Created For E85 Flexible-Fuel Vehicles

A new alternative fuel, a blend of ethanol, natural gas liquids, and a biomass-derived cosolvent, designed to be used in E85 flexible-fuel vehicles (FFVs), has been proposed for inclusion under the Energy Policy Act of 1992 by Pure Energy Corp.

The company has filed a petition with the Department of Energy (DOE) to qualify its nonpetroleum fuel as an alternative fuel. Pure Energy expects to produce both the ethanol and the cosolvent from renewable resources, such as cellulose from municipal and agricultural waste. The fuel will be as much as 70% renewable and produced domestically.

The firm does not expect to hear from DOE for a few months, since it recently filed the petition, according to a company official. The company believes its fuel meets the DOE alternative-fuel criteria. The fuel is substantially not petroleum, there are energy-security benefits from the fuel's domestic production, and it has significant environmental benefits, the source asserted.

The fuel produces 35% less hydrocarbons emissions, 40% less carbon monoxide emissions, and 70% less carbon dioxide emissions than gasoline, according to the company. It claims that the fuel has over 50% less ozone forming potential than reformulated gasoline. The fuel was tested in 1996 and 1997 Ford Taurus E85 FFVs and achieved 17.5 miles per gallon. Existing E85 (85% ethanol/15% gasoline) infrastructure can be used to dispense the fuel, said the official.

Used with permissions from Inside Washington Publishers and New Fuels & Vehicles Report - July 18, 1997.

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