ACE: New tool helps retailers determine E15 compatibility

By American Coalition for Ethanol | September 16, 2020

The American Coalition for Ethanol today launched a tool on its fuel-marketer focused flexfuelforward.com website to provide retailers with a free way to check if their equipment is already E15 compatible. Available 24/7, the “Flex Check” E15 compatibility tool will arm retailers with the confidence and information they need to make a conversion all in one place.

With USDA set to announce Higher Blend Infrastructure Incentive Program grant recipients any day now, ACE’s focus turns to marketers who have fueling equipment already E15 compatible but may not be aware of that fact.

“Adding new E15 and flex fuel locations with programs like HBIIP makes ethanol blended fuel more available and visible, but to move significant gallons, we need widespread conversions on top of new construction,” said Ron Lamberty, senior vice president of ACE. “A huge number of retailers have E15 compatible equipment and could sell it tomorrow without a big investment. But they don’t know, because they’ve been told by their petroleum suppliers it’s impossible for most stations to offer E15, and very expensive for others. We just want them to check, because we know a lot of them will be very surprised.”

“It’s encouraging to see the President use twitter to draw attention to the fact states can allow E15 to be sold through E10 pumps,” Lamberty said. “However, we don’t know how many states will make this permissible, and for those that do, we don’t know how long it will take. EPA will also have to change some rules, but in the meantime, station owners can use Flex Check, and may not have to wait.”

The Flex Check compatibility tool uses National Renewable Energy Lab studies and ACE’s research with equipment companies to give retailers a place to enter the manufacturer or model of tanks, piping, and other equipment they have on site, and find out if they are already E15 compatible.

“Some stations owners will be able to download documentation they need to provide EPA if they decide to sell E15,” Lamberty added, “and if they’re not ready to sell E15, this tool will help them identify parts of their system that need to be replaced, and most retailers will be surprised at how cost effective adding E15 can be.”

Flex Check will be advertised this fall in print and digital retailer and c-store publications. Tune in to the ACE virtual conference to hear more from Lamberty and listen to Nathaniel Doddridge, vice president of fuels with Casey’s General Stores, and Randy Gard, chief operating officer of Pump & Pantry, discuss the future of ethanol for their customers. The session will be aired between 2 and 3 p.m. Central today.