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It's the first new blend of gasoline in more than 30 years. But E-15 is having a hard time catching on. Approved just last year, gas stations are adding the new blend to their fuel options.
News 5's Josh Egbert was in a meeting Wednesday where fuel retailers were able to hear more about E-15.
The Nebraska Corn Board hosted the meeting. The Renewable Fuel Association was on hand with a presentation on the necessary steps to offer E-15 giving light to an industry that has struggled in the past few years.
"I think ethanol, obviously plants are operating at some pretty tight margins right now," said Curt Friesen, Nebraska Corn Board.
Some plants are shut down right now, showing a struggle in the ethanol industry.
"Margins are a little tight and things like that," Friesen said.
But it wasn't always like that.
For years, ethanol was the darling fuel, the answer to cleaner emissions, but in the past few years, the industry slowed.
"I think with all the attacks from the petroleum industry, the food fuel debate, those types of things have taken a toll on ethanol," said Friesen.
Curt Friesen, a board member with the Nebraska Corn Board, says ethanol is the only viable replacement fuel we have.
"It's economically viable, it's clean burning, doesn't pollute the environment, and yet we've had these constant attacks," Friesen said.
One of those attacks are on E-15, the newest ethanol blend approved by the EPA.
"A major misconception with E-15 is vehicle damage, and warranty claims," said Robert White, Renewable Fuel Association.
Nearly a dozen area fuel retailers and ag commodity groups attended a meeting Wednesday in Grand Island where E-15 and getting it to fuel stations was discussed.
"The realities of how ethanol and adding more ethanol blends like E-15 can add profit margins and can add overall volume and ultimately add to their bottom line," White said.
One problem the industry will face in the future, the blend wall.
Unless sales of E-15 or E-85 really take off, ethanol use can only total about 10 percent of gasoline use.
"We've kind of hit a blend wall, you can say, by using E-10, everything in the country is basically blended," said Friesen.
Across the nation, spiking corn prices and limited supply are forcing a growing number of ethanol plants to temporarily close.
Many ethanol producers are sandwiched between the rising price of corn and fuel prices that are increasing.
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