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U.S. Gasoline Contained More Than 10% Ethanol in 2016
USAgNet - 04/20/2017

Gasoline consumed in the United States in 2016 contained more than 10% ethanol on average for the first time ever, according to an analysis of U.S. Energy Information Administration data released by the Renewable Fuels Association. The EIA data dispels the myth that 10% is the marketplace limit for ethanol content in U.S. gasoline, and demonstrates that the so-called "blend wall" is not a real constraint on ethanol consumption.

According to EIA data, finished motor gasoline consumption totaled 143.367 billion gallons in 2016. That volume of gasoline contained 14.399 billion gallons of ethanol, meaning the average ethanol content of gasoline consumed in 2016 was 10.04%. According to the RFA report, the data "...further underscore that statutory Renewable Fuel Standard blending obligations in excess of the 10.0% level can be readily satisfied by the marketplace."

Growing consumption of E15 (gasoline blends containing 15% ethanol), mid-level blends (containing 20-50% ethanol) and flex fuels (containing 51-83% ethanol) was responsible for the increase in the average ethanol content of U.S. gasoline in 2016. The RFA report finds that 2016 consumption of mid-level blends and flex fuels was at least 450 million gallons, and may have been more than 1 billion gallons if the American Petroleum Institute's (API) assertions about ethanol-free gasoline (E0) demand are correct.

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