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RIN Waivers lead to first decline in Domestic Ethanol usage in two decades
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Posted 3/13/2019 18:47 (#7378510 - in reply to #7378093)
Subject: Increased Risks to Health if they do..

Frankly this whole story makes the Tobacco Lawsuits seem like Pikers..


BTEX & Health Concerns

After the lead phase-out, there were early concerns regarding the BTEX complex. In 1987, Senator Tom Daschle expressed concern over gasoline aromatics, writing, “A revolutionary change is occurring in the gasoline industry which poses a serious threat to the environment and public health – namely the increased concentration of benzene and other aromatics.”

Today, health research indeed suggests that even very low-level exposure to the BTEX complex, from gasoline additives and other petroleum products, may contribute to negative developmental, reproductive and immunological responses, as well as cardio-pulmonary effects. Upon incomplete combustion of the BTEX complex contained in gasoline, ultra-fine particulates (UFP) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are formed, which carry their own adverse health impacts even at low levels. UFP and PAHs are carcinogenic and mutagenic. Both UFP and PAHs have also been linked to developmental and neurodegenerative disorders, cancers, and cardio-pulmonary effects. Considerable attention has been given to benzene in fuel, as it is highly toxic. At the same time, the partial replacement of benzene with other aromatic compounds (xylene, ethyl-benzene, toluene) may not be sufficient in reducing exposure to BTEX's toxic effects.

Timeline of Benzene Regulation

1990: Congress passes the Clean Air Act Amendments, which, among other things, require lowering the content of benzene in areas that do not meet ground-level ozone standards. Passed as part of the CAAA was S.1630, the Clean Octane amendment, which gives EPA the authority to use “benign additives to replace the toxic aromatics that are now used to boost octane in gasoline.”


2007: EPA updates the Control of Hazardous Air Pollutants from Mobile Sources (MSAT2), which caps the total content of benzene in gasoline at 0.62 percent, down from an average of 1.3 percent. The other aromatics, such as toluene and xylene, are not capped.



Lead and various petroleum products have provided octane to gasoline for over 100 years, but evolving health and environmental concerns have led policymakers to reconsider the widespread use of many of these compounds. As the United States looks to reduce the greenhouse gas intensity of the transportation sector, increasing the octane value of gasoline is a promising avenue, as it would enable more fuel-efficient engines. But the health and environmental impacts of the octane sources that are used must be considered as well. By adding ethanol to finished gasoline, called “splash blending,” octane ratings can be increased while simultaneously lowering toxic octane sources.

A national transition to an optimized mid-level ethanol blend, between E25 (25 percent ethanol, 75 percent gasoline) and E40 (40 percent ethanol), would lower consumer fuel costs and standardize the fuel supply. The Department of Energy recognizes that increasing the ethanol content of gasoline is a potential pathway to increasing the octane rating of the gasoline supply. A mid-level ethanol blend would enable the design of highly fuel-efficient engines that would significantly reduce petroleum consumption, reduce lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions, and help meet higher fuel economy standards. As of now, the Department of Energy and the EPA have approved the use of E15 for make and model year 2001 and newer vehicles, which account for 80 percent of the vehicles on the road today.


Automotive manufacturers are examining clean octane sources as a way to meet efficiency and greenhouse gas regulations. It is here that the greatest benefit to health, the environment and vehicle efficiency can be realized in the near-term.

Edited by JonSCKs 3/13/2019 19:01

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