DECATUR, IL - Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM), producer of corn-based ethanol, said earlier this week that it would ask the Environmental Protection Agency to approve ethanol blends containing up to 12 percent ethanol for all cars, BusinessWeek reports.
While the agribusiness company said that it still supports a long-term goal of producing a 15 percent ethanol blend, it noted that it is uncertain whether older cars and other engines could run on the higher percentage formula.
ADM said that a 12-percent blend would produce a short-term effect of making the fuel more widely available. The company has been increasing its ethanol production as corn prices have dropped.
A 12-percent blend level, if demonstrated to perform in vehicles and other engines within the parameters established by the Administrator, would still present retailers with equipment compatibility concerns. Further, there remains concern that anything greater than 10 percent ethanol will cause performance and potentially safety issues for outdoor power equipment. If so, it would be likely that approval would not extend to this component of the market, which would necessitate misfueling countermeasures and potentially expose retailers to liability in the absence of new legislation.
Whether ADM€™s request is granted will have no bearing on NACS€™ efforts to enact legislation that will reform the manner in which equipment is certified as compatible and protect retailers from misfueling liability provided they comply with requirements established by the Administrator.