Lindsay Mitchell

Apr 06, 2017  |  Today's News |  ICGA |  Ethanol

Today, the Illinois Corn Growers Association joined with the Illinois Renewable Fuels Association to ask Illinois legislators to support a reid vapor pressure (RVP) waiver for 15 percent blends of ethanol.

E10 (10 percent ethanol) currently has an RVP waiver, allowing the fuel to be sold in the summer months.  Two proposed pieces of legislation, H.R. 1311 in the U.S. House of Representatives and S. 517 in the U.S. Senate, would transfer that waiver to E15 as well.

If E15 received the same waiver as E10 has enjoyed since the 1990s, corn farmers could see a boost in demand that would provide some relief from extremely low corn prices.  Consumers would also see a higher-octane fuel option for a cheaper price that is better for the environment.

Have some free time this week?  Make a call to your Congressman and Senators Duckworth and Durbin about these pieces of legislation!  Thank Senators Duckworth and Durbin for their sponsorship of the bill and ask your Congressman to consider sponsorship as well.  Also, thank Rodney Davis and Adam Kinzinger for their sponsorship.

Click on the image to download a one-page fact sheet on the RVP waiver.

Background on RVP:

When temperatures are really high, emissions evaporate from your fuel (called evaporative emissions) and can cause summertime air pollution.  The EPA doesn’t want that to happen.

Evaporative emissions are measured using the Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) standard.  The higher the RVP of a fuel, the worse its evaporative emissions are.

The RVP of pure ethanol is 2.  The RVP of gasoline can range from 7 to 15.

But when blended, the RVP of an ethanol/gasoline blend can exceed the RVP standard.  The RVP of E10 (the standard fuel today) is about 10.

In 1990, Congress amended the Clean Air Act to allow E10 a waiver – in other words, Congress gave EPA the authority to allow the use of E10 during the summer months.  But we’re still waiting on the waiver to allow E15 in the summer months, and the absence of that waiver is what makes E15’s movement into the marketplace so complicated.

The RVP of E15 is actually lower than E10, thus this E15 RVP waiver would actually improve the environment.