E15 Now Available in Northern Illinois

E15 fuel (15%) made its first appearance in northern Illinois in late November at the Rochelle Petro Travel Plaza; lawn equipment makers warn E15 can ruin small engines.

Gas station pump warming label
Gas station pump warming label

As of late-November, E15 (15% ethanol, 85% gasoline) was made available in Rochelle, IL. Illinois River Energy teamed up with the Rochelle Petro Travel Plaza to begin offering the higher-level blend.

“(The November 20, 2013) launch of E15 is an example of local businesses coming together to help consumers. We are proud to offer drivers in Rochelle, and all of northern Illinois, another choice at the pump,” said Illinois River Energy Group CEO Rich Ruebe. “We encourage everyone with a 2001 and newer vehicle to come by the Plaza and check out the new fuel.”

E15 is approved by the Environmental Protection Agency for vehicles 2001 and newer, and is the most tested fuel in EPA approval history, the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) website states. RFA also says E15 has been available for more than 16 months and driven over 45 million miles with no known cases of engine damage. Additionally, RFA says, ethanol is revitalizing rural communities and saved consumers on average $1.00/gallon at the pump in 2012 and 2013. It has created over 87,000 jobs while sustaining an additional 295,000, and has reduced America’s foreign oil dependence to 41%, compared to 48% without ethanol.

Lawn equipment makers warn of dangers, though. The association of lawn equipment and small-engine manufacturers, OPEI, warn of serious consequences when fueling small engine-powered equipment with blended fuels higher than E10 (10% ethanol). In fact, OPEI recently launched a massive consumer outreach program to help prevent consumers from mistakenly fueling certain vehicles and lawn equipment with E15 as it continues to make its way to market. Read about the OPEI Outreach Program.