Illinois Pilot Program for Demonstrating and Evaluating Higher Ethanol Blends in FFV Vehicles

Program Guidelines


Introduction: This Pilot Program for blending higher ethanol blends for flexible fuel vehicles is a cooperative effort between Illinois Department of Agriculture, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, the Illinois Corn Marketing Board, the Illinois ethanol industry, and the Illinois Petroleum Marketers Association. This program is designed to better understand the infrastructure needs and challenges for storing, blending and dispensing higher ethanol blends for flexible fuel vehicles. Another purpose of this program is to determine the interest of FFV vehicle owners in purchasing higher blends of ethanol for their vehicles such as E-20, E-30, etc.

The blending pumps in this Pilot Program will initially be located near the ethanol plants

The following requirements must be met:

  1. Compatibility of Storage, Blending and Dispensing Equipment
    • Dispensing equipment must have an NTEP certificate and comply with the applicable provisions including flow rates
    • Blending and dispensing equipment must be compatible to flex fuels based on manufacturer’s recommendations
    • Dispensing and associated equipment must comply with all applicable requirements of NIST Handbook 44
  2. Labeling of Dispensers
    • E-10 and unleaded gasoline must be labeled with octane rating
    • Flex fuels E-20, E-30, E-85 are prohibited from displaying an octane rating
    • Flex fuel blends must be labeled with “orange labels” and conspicuously state that “this fuel is for Flexible Fuel Vehicles (FFV) only”
  3. Labeling of Storage Tanks
    • Storage tanks must be properly identified as to the fuel contained in the tank. It is highly recommended that storage tanks be permanently identified to minimize the risk of putting E-85 or E-95 into the wrong storage tank.
  4. Proper Dispensing of the Fuels
    • Hoses used to dispense E-10 cannot be used to dispense the higher blends for the flexible fuel vehicles. Separate hoses are to be used.
    • All dispensers must be accurate and the blend ratios correct
    • E-95 can be used as a blend stock for higher blends but cannot be sold as a fuel.
    • E-10 can be used as a blend stock for the higher blends.
  5. Fuel Quality Standards
    • Unleaded 87 Octane and E-10 must meet ASTM standards, D-4814
    • E-85 must meet ASTM standards, D-5798
    • E-95 must meet ASTM D-4806
    • E-20, E-30 or other blends will be monitored for accuracy of the blend based on the label at the dispenser
  6. Inspections
    • An initial inspection will be conducted prior to the station selling the higher blended ethanol fuels
    • Periodic inspections will be conducted to monitor the equipment’s performance and fuel quality
  7. Other
    • Tanks used for storing E-85 and E-95 should comply with the recommendations established in ---------------------------

Role of Pilot Program Partners:

  1. Illinois Department of Agriculture: The Illinois Department of Agriculture will conduct periodic inspections and tests to ensure that the dispensers are accurate and the blend ratios are correct according to the posted labels.
  2. Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity: DCEO will provide funding support to petroleum marketers interested in participating in this Pilot Program.
  3. Illinois Corn Marketing Board: ICMB has committed funds to match with DCEO’s grants to assist petroleum marketers to install the flexible fuel blenders and dispensers. The Illinois Corn Growers will also work with the Illinois Ethanol Industry to promote the program to the petroleum marketers.
  4. Illinois Ethanol Industry: the industry will work with petroleum marketers and retail outlets near their plants to promote this Pilot Program. They will also work with petroleum marketers to supply E-85 or E-95 directly to the marketers.
  5. Illinois Petroleum Marketers: the Association will work with their members interested in participating in this Pilot Program of demonstrating flexible fuel pumps.

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