The Environmental Protection Agency announced that effective May 6th, 2006, federal regulators no longer require an oxygenate additive (which helps gasoline to burn more cleanly and efficiently) in smog-afflicted areas required to use reformulated gasoline (which includes Delaware). As a result, the additive methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) is no longer required to be added to gasoline. But even before the EPA's announcement, refiners and distributors of gasoline sold in the Northeast Region had decided to drop the controversial additive, which has proven to contaminate soil and drinking water after leaking from underground storage tanks. Instead of dropping an additive altogether, refiners decided to substitute Ethanol in place of MTBE, in a 90% Gasoline/10% Ethanol blend (E10), for various reasons. Therefore, during the course of Spring/Summer 2006, E10 will be produced and distributed to the Delaware motoring public.
The Delaware Motor Fuel Tax Administration is working diligently, in conjunction with the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, to educate retail gasoline station operators and the motoring public about the fuel composition change. Motor Fuel Tax is providing gas pump labels to all Retail Dealers, to insure that these stations are able to meet the labeling requirement of Gasoline Regulation B (3). After the initial distribution, Motor Fuel Tax will provide additional labels at a cost of $1.00 per label.
The Difference Between "Gasoline" and "Gasohol"
"Gasoline" as defined in section 5101(4), shall include the mixture of gasoline and ethyl alcohol (ethanol) commonly referred to as "gasohol".
"Gasohol" shall be a blend of nine (9) parts unleaded gasoline and one (1) part ethanol and shall be mixed by a distributor at time of delivery to a purchaser. A retail seller shall clearly label all pumps dispensing gasohol as such.
Frequently Asked Questions about E10
Q: Why the switch to E10?
A: The federal Energy Policy Act of 2005 requires the doubling of ethanol use over the next 6 years as a renewable fuel that lowers our dependence on foreign oil.
Q: Will my car, lawn mower, boat engine,etc. run on E10?
A: Most vehicles and small engines should run fine on E10. Check the owner's manual or the manufacturer to verify compatibility with E10.
Q: Will using E10 affect the mileage of my car?
A: Testing has shown fuel mileage may decrease by approximately 2%. A vehicle that averages 30 mpg on the highway would average about 29.4 mpg using an ethanol-blended fuel.
Q: What problems may be encountered with E10?
A: Ethanol readily mixes with water. If the tank storing the E10 has water in it, the Ethanol will separate from the gasoline. This can result in damage to an engine.
Q: What should I do if my engine experiences problems after fueling?
A: If you suspect the problem is a result of poor quality gasoline contact the Delaware Motor Fuel Tax Administration (MFTA) office at (302)744-2715 and notify the gas station owner. MFTA will visit the gas station and will take samples of the fuel to determine if the fuel meets quality standards. If the fuel is not of proper quality MFTA will stop sales of gasoline at the station until the situation is resolved. Be sure to save your gasoline sale receipt for proof of the time, date, location, fuel type and pump from which you purchased the fuel.
Q: Whom do I contact if the gas station owner and I cannot resolve issues concerning the repair of an engine damaged by gasoline with improper quality?
A: If this happens, there are various options including legal recourse.
Q: I have a flexible fuel vehicle. Where can I purchase E85?
Q: At the present time no gas station in Delaware sells E85. This may change in the near future. Some private fleets maintain their own E-85 storage tanks.