October 19, 2005 – Posted at 5:39 p.m. CDT
BERNIE, MO – Today, the U.S. imports more than half of its oil. As overall consumption continues to increase, prices are climbing higher and the environmental risks are greater. Scientist have been working for years to create a fuel alternative, and it’s finally in Region 8.
E-85 is available at two MFA Oil stations in Southeast Missouri, one in Bernie and another in Charleston. But business has been good since it started selling last Friday.
“It’s a cleaner burning fuel, it’s good for the environment and we’re getting a lot of excitement,” said Regional Sales Manager David Dunlap, “We see it being the wave of the future.”
The blend of 85% Ethanol and 15% gasoline is called E-85. It’s an alternative transportation fuel that can be used in flexible-fuel vehicles. To find out if your automobile is compatible, just check the gas cap.
Flexible fuel vehicles are specifically designed to run on any ethanol fuel blend up to 85%. Ford Motor Company, General Motors and DaimlerChrysler Corporation all offer E-85 engines as standard equipment in their vehicles.
“It burns a lot cleaner,” said MFA Oil manager Tim Burnett, “It’s real clean and it burns more efficient.”
“A lot of people interested I it because it’s reducing our demand for foreign oil. It’s less fuel that we have to buy from overseas and the middle east,” said Dunlap.
The fuel is made from American corn and produced domestically. An ethanol plant is expected to be coming soon to Malden, Missouri.
“Us being a farmer owned cooperative, we think it’s important to buy products from our farmers and support our customers,” said Dunlap.
Burnett said, “I think right now this is going to be the thing that everybody goes to.”
It takes one bushel of corn to make 2.78 gallons of ethanol. The fuel does lower gas mileage by about 10%. Vehicles that are not flex-fuel can be modified by the addition of a fuel sensor and by upgrading of fuel lines and tanks.