The downside to E15 is that it can only be used by some vehicles manufactured after 2007 (AFDC Ethanol, 2009) and that its not as widely available as standard gasoline. E15 fuel is considered to be an alternative fuel source.
Ethanol is a renewable source of fuel as its made from corn. It is similar to grain alcohol because its made from plant sugars that have been fermented, but it is not consumable. Renewable fuel sources are fuels that are derived from components that can be renewed, such as plants. Biodiesel is a form of a fuel made from renewable sources, including plant oils. The oil (which is usually made from vegetables, sunflowers, canola, or used cooking oil) goes through a process called esterificiation, which refines it from oil into alcohol. Other examples of renewable fuels are hydrogen and methanol. There are also fuel types that are created through renewable sources, such as solar and wind power (Alternative and Renewable Fuel & Vehicle Technology Program, 2010).
There is a growing desire to transfer some of the dependence from gasoline to renewable and cleaner sources of fuel. The EPA supports many of these advances and is behind many projects and programs that will help the process.
The hopes are to lower the costs of fuels and begin to rely more on cleaner sources in an effort to cut down on the amount of pollution that is created.
Alternative and Renewable Fuel & Vehicle Technology Program. (2010, October 20). California Energy Commission Home Page. Retrieved December 2, 2010, from http://www.energy.ca.gov/altfuels/
AFDC Ethanol: E85: An Alternative Fuel. (2010, November 16). EERE: Alternative Fuels and Advanced Vehicles Data Center Program Home Page. Retrieved December 1, 2010, from http://www.afdc.energy.gov/afdc/ethanol/e85.html
Basic Information | Gasoline Fuels | U.S. EPA. (2007, June 11). EPAs 40th | U.S. EPA. Retrieved December 2, 2010, from http://www.epa.gov/otaq/gasoline/information.htm
Clean Fuels: Alternative Fuel Options | State & Local Transportation Resources | U.S. EPA. (2009, September 10). U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Retrieved December 1, 2010, from http://www.epa.gov/oms/stateresources/rellinks/altfueloptions.htm
EERE: Fuel Cell Technologies Program Home Page. (2010, December 1). EERE: EERE Server Maintenance. Retrieved December 1, 2010, from http://www1.eere.energy.gov/hydrogenandfuelcells/
Fuels and Fuel Additives | U.S. EPA. (2010, October 19). U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Retrieved December 1, 2010, from http://www.epa.gov/otaq/fuels.htm
Iowa Corn – Ethanol. (2008). Official Web site of Iowa Corn. Retrieved December 2, 2010, from http://www.iowacorn.org/cms/en/Ethanol/Ethanol.aspx.