U.S. House Bill Seeks To Elevate Demand For Biofuels

U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-IL) recently introduced a bill known as the “Next Generation Fuels Act” (H.R. 8371) that seeks to establish a minimum 98 Research Octane Number (RON) standard for gasoline and require sources of additional octane resulting in at least 30 percent fewer GHG emissions than unblended gasoline.

In 2018, the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers argued that a fuel-neutral, 95-RON octane performance standard could address the needs of all stakeholders: the auto industry, marketers, biofuel producers, refiners, and, most importantly, consumers.

95 RON is similar to today’s premium fuel that would lower emissions and preserve the liquid fuels distribution network. Given ethanol’s octane boost, E10 would likely be used to meet the 95 RON standard.

A move to a 98 RON would more than likely require E10 plus blends which would impact underground storage tank compatibility systems.

The complexities involved in the transition to a single high-octane gasoline would require a federal mandate, similar to the one used in the transition from leaded to unleaded gasoline.

Such a mandate would require Congressional action since EPA lacks the authority to implement the transition nationwide.

Even with a federal mandate in place, the transition to a single high-octane fuel would likely take decades to achieve given the need for both Congressional and EPA action to make it happen.

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