epaEPA pushing destructive chemical addition, even after admitting it can destroy engines

The federal government is plowing ahead with new mandates requiring the use of ethanol in gasoline, even after admitting it damages car engines.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued new rules forcing the nation’s refineries to increase the amount of ethanol mixed into gasoline.

The new rules require the addition of 16.30 billion gallons of ethanol to gasoline in 2015 and 17.40 billion gallons in 2016.

With gasoline demand remaining flat, that could push ethanol levels to beyond 10 percent of gasoline’s content.

That has experts worried.

“Gummed-up fuel systems, damaged tanks and phase separation caused by stray moisture infiltrating fuel systems have plagued many consumers since this mixture debuted, and the problems will only get worse if government policy to increase the proportion of ethanol to gasoline is implemented,” Popular Mechanics reports.

One problem is that alcohol attracts water. Generally, that’s not a problem. “In concentrations in the tank up to about 0.6 percent, any water remains in solution, presenting no problems,” Popular Mechanics notes.

If the temperature of the gasoline in the tank drops, such as on a cool night, the water suspended in the air is drawn into the fuel. If enough water combines with the alcohol, it pools at the bottom of the tank and can be drawn into the engine.

As you can imagine, it’s a bad idea to run water through a gasoline engine.

Alcohol is also highly corrosive and can dissolve plastics and rubber. Considering many fuel parts are made of plastics and rubber, that’s not a good combination.

Alcohol also oxidizes in fuel tanks, creating what Popular Mechanics calls “a tenacious brown glop that’s far more damaging to fuel systems than the varnish we’re used to seeing in pure petroleum fuels. In warmer weather, you can see varnish starting to form within a month of dispensing fresh fuel into a vehicle tank or storage can.”

It’s already damaging cars, and the problem is epidemic among gasoline-powered boat engines.

In fact, many stations are refusing to buy gasoline with alcohol blended into it, and post signs telling motorists they sell the safer alcohol-free fuel.

One government agency has blasted ethanol as a dangerous additive, noting “[e]thanol impacts motor vehicles in two primary ways. First … ethanol enleans the [air/fuel] ratio (increases the proportion of oxygen relative to hydrocarbons) which can lead to increased exhaust gas temperatures and potentially increase incremental deterioration of emission control hardware and performance over time, possibly causing catalyst failure. Second, ethanol can cause materials compatibility issues, which may lead to other component failures.”

And which agency was that warning from stating that ethanol mandate can overheat engines and corrode engine parts?

That would be the EPA.

Happy driving. Keep the repair shop on speed dial.