Peer-reviewed study validates Urban Air Initiative research on health benefits of ethanol blends

April 28, 2020 |

In Kansas, the conclusion of a new peer reviewed technical paper published in the  Journal of Air & Waste Management is that ethanol blends reduce vehicle emissions and save lives, validating previous research efforts by the Urban Air Initiative that find when ethanol is added to gasoline, it significantly reduces toxic emissions tied to air pollution.

The research team leading this effort included notable refinery and fuel emission experts who looked at hundreds of earlier studies on emissions and ethanol.  A glaring error, according to the authors, is that these studies assume a standard fuel is created for testing emissions. However, the research found that test fuels rarely resemble real-world fuels, similar to what consumers purchase.

The paper found that when simply adding ethanol to fuel, it reduces the most carbon intensive and carcinogenic fuel additives called aromatics. Replacing these benzene-based additives with ethanol directly reduces particulate matter (PM) and NOx emissions, both of which are ozone precursors and represent significant health risks to the public. The discrepancy the authors found in the previous studies centered on the fact that test fuels add ethanol and aromatics together to raise octane, while oil refiners actually reduce aromatics to utilize ethanol as an octane enhancer. Comparing a baseline E0 fuel to E10 and E15 shows the ethanol blends are significantly better when real world fuel blending conditions are used.

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Category: Fuels

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