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New Study Examines Impact of Increased Ethanol Percentage on Flex Fuel Vehicle Emissions

Riverside, Ca –

A new study finds that increasing the percentage of ethanol in gasoline to 30% or 78% ethanol (as compared to baseline fuel with 10% ethanol) in a flex fuel gasoline direct injection passenger vehicle reduced tailpipe emissions of particulate matter (PM), total hydrocarbon (THC), non-methane hydrocarbon (NMHC), carbon monoxide (CO), and BTEX toxics (benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, xylenes, and 1, 3-butadiene). However, emissions of formaldehyde and acetaldehyde substantially increased with the higher ethanol blends. The study was conducted by the University of California Riverside and the University of Wisconsin, Madison and commissioned by the Urban Air Initiative. The study was published in the journal Science of the Total Environment, and was featured on the Governor’s Biofuels Coalition website.

The study was authored by CE-CERT alumni Dr. Jiacheng Yang and Dr. Patrick Roth, along with CE-CERT researchers Dr. Thomas Durbin and Dr. Georgios Karavalakis. Other study authors include Dr. Akua Asa-Awuku from the University of Maryland, and Dr. Martin Shafer, Dr. Jocelyn Hemming, and Dr. Dagmara Antkiewicz from the University of Wisconsin - Madison.