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Mon Oct 27, 2014, 08:29 PM

Two Organizations Call Out th EPA on Corn Ethanol Emissions Modeling, 'Seriously Flawed' (i.e BOGUS)


The Urban Air Initiative (UAI) and the Energy Future Coalition (EFC) are questioning the Environmental Protection Agency's MOVES (motor vehicle emissions simulator) modeling system for estimating the emissions from mobile sources. Calling the methodology "seriously flawed," the groups are calling for peer review of the models, especially as they treat higher ethanol blends.

The EPA's Office of Transportation and Air Quality (OTAQ) developed the MOVES report to estimate the emissions for mobile sources at the national, county, and project level for specific pollutants. These include air toxins, greenhouse gases, and others. The latest report is MOVES2014, which includes the effect of Tier 3 rule and the impacts of other EPA rules promulgated since the last report, MOVES2010.

The trouble is, the MOVES report is not peer reviewed, but is still a go-to source for policy makers. UAI and EFC note that MOVES2014 will be used to estimate air pollution emissions from cars, trucks, motorcycles, and buses in official State Implementation Plan (SIP) submissions to EPA. The EPA has advised states to use MOVES2014 in SIP development as expeditiously as possible. A letter from the two organizations to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy calls for the agency to suspend the use of MOVES model with respect to ethanol blends until the EPAct study that it's based upon can be peer reviewed by transportation fuels experts at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory and National Renewable Energy Laboratory. After the peer review, they further request analysis evaluation to maximize the accuracy of the EPA's modeling.


The groups' primary concern is that the EPA's study used match-blending ethanol in its study whereas the majority of the ethanol fuels sold in the U.S. are splash-blended. The difference is not insignificant. Products like E10 and E15 are splash blended (meaning the ethanol is poured into standard petroleum fuel and mixed). The fuels the EPA tested were match-blended, a method by which gasoline blendstock is adjusted to match certain selected parameters (by adding , usually to maximize octane ratings. This second method is more expensive and is not normally used in consumer fuels.

click here to see letter

excerpt from letter:
(emphasis my own)
The EPAct study compared the emissions of 27 fuel blends at different boiling points designed to fit a desired distillation profile. Because ethanol’s distillation characteristics are unlike those of hydrocarbons, and because it evaporates at a temperature below two of the specified boiling points, the tests added more “high boiling point” components of gasoline to achieve a “match.” [font color="red"]However, these high boiling point components are typically aromatic compounds – the worst-polluting components of gasoline. Emissions increased because of the changes in the base fuel, not the ethanol. Thus, ethanol was unfairly and incorrectly blamed for emissions caused by aromatic hydrocarbons.[/font]

The study concluded that “other factors being equal, increasing ethanol is associated with an increase in emissions”3 – but it later acknowledged: “However, if typical collateral fuel changes (lower T50 and aromatics) are accounted for, we might project that blending ethanol would tend to reduce THC, NMHC and NMOG emissions (highlighting the important sensitivities to these other fuel parameters).”4 (Emphasis added.)

... Environmental Protection courtesy of Exxon - Mobil et al!!

- See more at: http://www.torquenews.com/1080/two-organizations-call-out-epa-corn-ethanol-emissions-modeling-seriously-flawed#sthash.ptAsClxR.dpuf

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