e85 grants

Unlike many states in the northeast, Indiana, a state in America’s corn belt, is taking the right steps to help their retailers upgrade their fuel tanks to allow dispensing of e85 fuel. Indiana is beginning to offer their retailers grants to help convert their fuel tanks to hold e85 ethanol fuel. Retailers can expect grants up to $5,000.

As many retailers know, upgrading their fuel tanks to distribute e85 ethanol fuel can be a very expensive endeavor. The Indiana Corn Marketing Council hopes to offer as much help as possible to any retailer that will help promote and distribute e85.

According to representatives of the Indiana Corn Marketing Council, their grant plus the corn checkoff grant program can pay big dividends to local retailers should the state of Indiana raise the corn checkoff to $20,000 which is currently proposed.

Currently in the state of Indiana, there is just below 100 e85 stations.

With the help of this grant, this should help may new retailers in Indiana convert to e85 tanks. The Indiana Corn Marketing Council is trying to make e85 fuel mainstream to everyone who have already done the correct thing and gone out and bought a flex-fuel automobile, a car that uses E85 or regular gasoline.

Hopefully other states in the United States will consider such grants them selfs. With little e85 penetration in the nation’s east coast grants such as these will allow e85 to gain a good foot hold for the United States to rely less on foreign oil.

e85 ethanol Conversion


A. This is a frequent question that is asked. There is not a simple answer though. In the strictest sense, yes, a vehicle that was made to operate on unleaded fuel only could be converted to operate on E85 ethanol. Realistically speaking, the conversion can be extremely difficult.
During the 80’s and early 90’s, many companies were formed that altered gasoline powered vehicles to use other forms of fuels such as propane, compressed natural gas, e85, and 85 percent methanol. The basic marketing strategy of these conversion companies was based on the idea that it was much cheaper to operate a vehicle on alternative fuels. However, the vehicles being converted were made, designed and built to operate on unleaded fuel only. Shortly after the start of the "conversion firms" the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) decided that when converted from gas to another form of fuel, the exhaust emissions from these converted vehicles were often much dirtier than prior to the conversion. The use of alt-fuels in the transportation sector has been engineered around the objectives of using cleaner, non-gasoline based fuels.

Based on authority provided to the EPA through the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990, the EPA began regulations that required exhaust emissions from vehicles converted to operate on alternative fuels be as clean as the exhaust emissions of the original gasoline equipment. That is, if Ford Motor Company built a car to meet federal emissions standards on gas, a company converting that vehicle to operate on e85, must be able to certify that the emissions from the converted vehicle was as clean as the original. A process to license such after-market equipment was initiated and few if any conversion kits were actually able to pass.

99.9 percent of all the vehicles that are able to operate on alternative transportation fuels are produced by the original manufacturers such as Ford, General Motors, and DaimlerChrysler. Engineers from these auto companies are able to create vehicles that meet the EPA exhaust emission standards. These automobile companies are required to warranty the exhaust emissions from these vehicles for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Very few conversion companies
are able to accomplish.


A. Yes, but, there are no flex fuel conversions or after-market parts that have been certified by the EPA. None of the flex fuel products have met the standards to maintain clean exhaust emissions. Technically, converting a vehicle that was made to run on gasoline only to operate on another form of fuel is a violation of federal law and the offender may be subject to penalties. Unfortunately, no after-market conversion company has been able to certify a E85 flex fuel kit that would allow a gasoline vehicle to operate on e85.

The differences in fuel injector size, air-fuel ratio, PCM calibrations, material composition of the fuel lines, pumps and tanks are just a some of the components that contribute to allowing an ethanol conversion extremely complicated. It is our understanding that at least one company is working to obtain EPA certification. The situation will be monitored closely. Understand the certification process could be lenghty, hard and expensive.

e85 Ethanol Equipment Processes

Unlike gasoline, ethanol conducts electricity; and while this property does not result in additional safety issues, it requires that all luminum be removed from the gasoline dispensing system. To reduce the possibility of equipment and systems failure or contamination, you must select proper materials and control the fuel composition. In this section, you will learn about E85 fueling equipment, processes, and standards.

The recommendations in this site are based on a decade of experience with E85 fueling systems in the Minnesota E85 pilot market as well as other markets across the United States. These procedures and equipment have performed well with E85. The fueling components are often readily available from local petroleum equipment suppliers, and any qualified equipment installer can perform the methods discussed.

Although ethanol-based fuels have been in use for decades, misconceptions persist concerning the impact ethanol will have on seals, elastomers and other components contained within the fuel dispensing system. DuPont, a major elastomer manufacturer, published information in 1993 indicating that high-blend ethanol (e.g E100) may actually be less troublesome than other, more common, gasoline additives. Download a copy of Leak Prevention of Reformulated Fuels and Oxygenates: Sealing Solutions to Protect the Environment and Meet Regulatoly Requirements to learn more about this issue.

OPW, a well-known fuel equipment manufacturer, has issued the following memorandum pertaining to common components and their compatibility with E85. As indicated in the Checklist for Installing or Converting Equipment to dispense E85, we recommend replacing the hanging hardware (connectors, swivels, hose, nozzle) with the appropriate items.

Some retailers and fleet fueling site operators overlook using a 1-micron alcohol dispenser filter with E85. This is the single most important safeguard against fuel contamination and customer vehicle issues. Although the 1-micron filter may cost more than a standard 10-micron gasoline or 30-micron diesel filter, the small investment is well worth it if a single problem is avoided. Cim-Tek is a well-known dispenser filter manufacturer. View all Cim-Tek ethanol compatible products.

Although this document was published in 1995, information provided in Fuel Ethanol (E85) Compatibility Standards and Dispensing Equipment List for E85 Fuel Vehicles is still valid today.

If a fueling site project and the selection of its contractor and equipment vendors are subject to a bid process, make certain that bid specifications include all necessary equipment requirements, local codes and standards, and all permit arrangements and costs. A variety of project types, equipment, and associated sample costs are provided for your information. These may help you and your potential vendors in defining project-specific bid details. An experienced contractor or a trusted equipment vendor will be able to assist in gathering bid specifications for your locale. View the fact sheet on the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency’s Web site that discusses Selecting a Certified Contractor.

If the fueling system will be located in an area where E85 and ethanol-blended fuels have not been in widespread use, you may run into a lack of awareness with equipment vendors and installers. If this occurs, or if you receive negative responses to E85-related inquiries, please contact the National Ethanol Vehicle Coalition (NEVC) or the organizations provided in the contacts section of this toolkit. The NEVC will be able to assist in answering your questions or those of your local vendor.