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MN Fuels Blog

88 Octane Gasoline Now A Favorite Choice Of Many In Minnesota
November 16, 2017
In four years, the number of Minnesota stations selling 88 octane gasoline has gone from zero to more than 200. Many Minnesotans have become fans of a fuel that provides more octane but is usually priced lower than regular unleaded.

Ribbon cutting at Minnesota's first station offering 88 octane E15 gasoline
In the fall of 2013, only one station in Minnesota offered the 88 octane gasoline choice, Penn Minnoco in south Minneapolis. 88 octane gasoline is sometimes referred to as E15, because it takes advantage of a little more ethanol than our 10% regular gasoline to boost octane and lower the price. When it was first rolled out to the public, it generated a lot of interest, both in the news media and among drivers eager try the new gasoline-ethanol blend.

Soon stations across the state were adding new dispensers and offering both E85, for flex fuel vehicle drivers, and the new 88 octane gasoline blend for drivers of vehicles 2001 and newer.  Five stations were selling it after one year. Thirty more added it the next year and the total almost doubled the next year. In 2017, we may see as many as 150 locations add an 88 octane fuel by the end of the year, driving Minnesota to the front of the pack of the number of station offering the fuel choice.

To find your nearest station, go to http://mnfuels.com/e15locations.cfm.


How Minnesota Led the Way
November 10, 2017
Twenty years ago, Minnesota became the first state in the nation to require a 10 percent blend of ethanol be added to almost all grades of gasoline.  Sometimes referred to as E10, this gasoline-ethanol mix helps to make the fuel burn cleaner and reduces the state’s need for imported petroleum. It also eliminated an air quality problem in the Twin Cities few people were aware of – carbon monoxide levels were exceeding federal health guidelines. After E10 was established statewide, carbon monoxide levels lowered to below health standards, even though there are significantly more people and more vehicles in the metro area than there were in 1997.

Just as most people were unaware that carbon monoxide levels had risen, they noticed no difference in the new blend of gasoline. E10 had already been rolled out in the metro area, and when the change went statewide, Minnesotans saw little if any change in price, availability or performance.


Today, a 15 percent gasoline-ethanol blend (E15) is rapidly becoming available in Minnesota. Like E10, this fuel burns cleaner than traditional gasoline. With its slightly higher ethanol content, drivers see a boost in the octane rating from regular 87 to 88, yet this 88 octane gasoline is usually priced below regular unleaded, making it a very popular fuel with Minnesota drivers.

E15 is approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for vehicles model year 2001 or newer, which represents the vast majority of cars and trucks on the road today. Minnesota now has more than 200 stations selling E15, and the number is expected to grow as more drivers ask for the fuel that costs less, but delivers more. You can find a complete list of stores selling 88 octane gasoline at MNFuels.com.


Where Does Minnesota’s Gasoline Come From?
November 10, 2017

IMG_0679
Photo of a Tar Sands facility in Alberta, Canada
by sbamueller, licensed under CC BY 2.0

Most of the gasoline sold in Minnesota starts as petroleum from the Tar Sands region of Alberta, Canada.  Removing Tar Sands from the ground often involves strip mining, extensive use of natural gas and water resources, and destruction of forests and wildlife habitat.

These issues continue to be a concern, but one solution can be found in the fields not far from our homes.  Biofuels like ethanol and biodiesel can be extracted from crops we can replant each year, helping to capture carbon and energy each crop cycle; processing the plants for food, fiber, and transportation fuels; and then begin the cycle over again each Spring.

Minnesota is a state with no crude oil, yet it has become a major provider of biofuels in just a few decades, producing more than a billion gallons of fuel each year.  Better yet, these biofuels produce fewer emissions than traditional petroleum fuels and are renewable.

Minnesotans now have transportation choices that reduce air pollution as well as greenhouse gases. New technologies and emerging fuels offer the promise of even more choices in the future.  We may have a long way to go to 100 percent cleaner vehicles and fuels, but here in Minnesota, we have taken the first steps.


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