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Source: Renewable Fuels Assn news release

The Renewable Fuels Association today thanked the United Kingdom's Department of Transport for its draft regulations requiring the introduction of E10 ethanol blends beginning in September. However, in comments submitted to the agency, RFA recommended they adjust the minimum ethanol content for the E10 blend. Currently, the draft regulation allows fuel providers to comply with the E10 standard by supplying gasoline containing as little as 5.5% ethanol, which as RFA notes, "contains only 0.5% more ethanol than the current E5 grade."

"Allowing petrol with as a little as 5.5% ethanol to be characterized as E10 could cause consumer confusion and undermine the Department of Transport's GHG reduction goals," wrote RFA Vice President of Regulatory Affairs Kelly Davis. "While we understand the U.K. government's desire to provide 'maximum flexibility' to fuel suppliers, we believe a higher minimum ethanol content is necessary to ensure the U.K. fully reaps the benefits of a transition to higher ethanol content."

Davis noted that too low a minimum content would allow refiners and blenders to meet the new regulation while "increasing their use of toxic aromatics and other hydrocarbons to achieve the 95 RON octane minimum."

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