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Growth Energy has developed a P.O.P. and station imaging kit to assist retailers in advertising the availability of high- and mid-level blends of ethanol. We can help you with station imaging like banners and curbside signs, send postcards to flex fuel vehicle owners in your area or provide newspaper advertising with room for your station logo. Visit our marketing support section to learn more about these valuable tools.
Research studies support increasing ethanol blends from E10 to at least E15.
No. This has been a common misconception of the ethanol industry, that it takes more energy to make ethanol than is available to the final consumer. Remember, ethanol is produced from plant matter, today dominated by corn, wheat, potatoes, sorgum, etc. Plants grow through the use of energy provided by the sun and are a renewable resources. In the future, ethanol will be produced from waste products or "energy crops." Current ethanol producers like POET are close to commercializing production of ethanol using products such as corn stover.
Current research prepared by Argonne National Laboratory (a U.S. Department of Energy Laboratory), indicates a 38 percent gain in the overall energy input/output equation for the corn-to-ethanol process. That is, if 100 BTUs of energy is used to plant corn, harvest the crop, transport it, etc., 138 BTUs of energy is available in the fuel ethanol. Corn yields and processing technologies have improved significantly over the past 20 years and they continue to do so, making ethanol production less and less energy intensive.
A flex fuel pump gives an FFV owner a great deal of flexibility and options. Just because you drive an FFV does not mean you have to fill up with E85 all the time. A flex fuel pump gives FFV owners the opportunity to fill up with various ethanol blends based on pricing and their vehicle’s performance.
Since the flex fuel pump includes E10 or E15 as a standard choice for consumers, you are also providing a fuel that virtually every consumer can use. Additionally, when you have a flex fuel pump at your station, you are showing consumers that you have their best interests in mind.
For the retailer, this technology also allows the cost of the dispenser to be spread across all blends and all customers.
Incentives to Sell Mid-Level Blends of Ethanol
After the hike in oil prices during the summer of 2008, consumers are looking for more choices at the pump. In October 2008, Growth Energy funded an Attitudes, Awareness and Usage (AA & U) survey and discovered the following:
There are more than 14.6 million FFVs on America’s highways today. There are more than 2,600 E85 fueling stations across the nation and more than 400 stations with a flex fuel pump installed — and more are being added every week.
The technology that allows a flex fuel pump to work resides in the pump mechanism itself, so you simply need to connect the pump to two underground storage tanks. You’ll need to clean the tanks as necessary in order to accommodate the two fuels for the blender pump. If you already have E10 or ordinary gasoline in one tank, most likely you can fill the other with E85 or denatured ethanol and be ready to install your flex fuel pump.