Biofuels in transportation fuel is either ethanol blended with gasoline or soybean-based biodiesel blended with petroleum-based diesel. Almost all gasoline sold in the United States contains 10% ethanol (E10) while fuels with higher blends of ethanol such as E15 and E85 are also available.
Minnesota currently leads the nation in E85 stations and has one of the highest number of E15 stations. In fact, Minnesota is the fifth largest producer of ethanol in the nation and introduced ethanol into the transportation fuel as early as 1997, eight years before the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) was enacted and 10 years before the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) was passed by Congress.
In terms of biodiesel, Minnesota was the first state where retailers offered diesel blended with 2% biodiesel. In 2009, the state became the first in the country to mandate the blending of 5% biodiesel (B5) with all diesel sold. Besides B5, there are nine stations in the state that currently sell B20 (20% biodiesel)
Below, you can find some information on E15, E85 and other ethanol blends, biodiesel as well as links to where you can get the abovementioned fuels.
At present all gasoline sold contains 10% ethanol or is known as E10 and can be used in all vehicles. In 2012, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that all vehicles made in 2001 and newer can use E15 which contains 15% ethanol and 85% gasoline.
E15 is cleaner and on average 10 cents cheaper than regular E10. Moreover, it has a higher octane rating than E10. It has an octane rating of 88, making it a mid-grade fuel sold cheaper than regular unleaded fuel.
The great news is that E15 can be used in vehicles made from 2001 onwards which, as of end-2013, amounts to 194.67 million light-duty vehicles on the road in America. That’s seven out of 10 cars on the road.
Find out where you can get E15 in Minnesota here
E85 is a fuel that contains 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline. Unlike E15, E85 can only be used by cars designated as flex-fuel vehicles (FFVs). These vehicles are designed to take any blend of ethanol up to E85 and are sold by, among others, General Motors, Ford and Chrysler.
It is estimated that are some 17 million FFVs on the road in America today with 400,000 in Minnesota alone. In fact, Minnesota leads the nation in terms of E85 stations with over 300 stations and counting.
E85 is cleanest transportation fuel in the market and is cheaper than regular unleaded gasoline. And like E15, it has a higher octane rating at 105 making it, as some auto executives say, a racing fuel.
For a list of FFVs, please click here. If your car does not have a flex fuel badge but is listed, please check your fuel cap, car manual or contact your car manufacturer before using E85.
To find a station selling E85 in Minnesota click here
OTHER BLENDS OF ETHANOL
If you own a flex fuel vehicle, you may also safely use other blends of ethanol in your vehicle such as E30, E50 and E70. These blends are available in blender pumps in Minnesota to provide flex-fuel vehicle owners with more choices.
To find a blender pump, click here
In 2009, Minnesota made it mandatory for all diesel sold to contain a 5% soybean-based biodiesel or B5 with a law to increase it to B10 (10% biodiesel) is set to be implemented on July 1, 2014 and to B20 (20% biodiesel) on May 1, 2015.
B20 can currently be found in nine stations in the state. To find a station selling B20 biodiesel, click here