Sunday, May 11, 2008

Ethanol Price Calculator

After an exciting and illuminating conversation I had this Mother's Day, I figured that along with my blog posts I should try to keep people informed about ethanol's pricing. One thing I've noticed in the past few weeks as gasoline prices rise is that the margin between regular unleaded gasoline and E10 super unleaded has remained the same. While in this part of Iowa, the price differences are usually 10 to 13 cents per gallon cheaper for the ethanol blend; making them cheaper to buy than regular gasoline, it may not be the case in other parts of the country. I wholeheartedly feel that during this "growing-pains" period in corn-based ethanol production the worst thing that those involved with ethanol can do would be to make ethanol blends less affordable based on energy density (which controls the number of miles you can travel on a gallon of the fuel blend). For this reason, I have installed a quick price calculator to the right of the blog posts. Simply enter the unleaded regular price of gasoline at the station near you and it will tell you the price of E10 and E85 that you would pay above which you are being charged too much. In my next post I will go over how I made these calculations.
A final note is that several studies from the University of Minnesota and South Dakota State University made preliminary findings that point out the possibility that ethanol might not cause the full dip in mileage that would be dictated by its lower energy density. If you want to read my blog post on this, copy and paste the following link:
However, this is a debate that is still ongoing and so I didn't include any of their findings that might alter the mpg, as you will see in my next post on how prices for E10 and E85 were calculated.


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