Citgo stations now serving blended ethanol fuel

By Crystal Price - bio | email

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - The Citgo refinery in Lake Charles is now pumping gasoline blended with ethanol at all of their fueling stations in the lake area.

The blended fuel consists of 10% ethanol and 90% gasoline.

David Brumby, President of Lassco, said he thinks switching to this blended fuel will be great for the United States.

"I think a lot of this is a situation where everybody is trying to get away from the foreign products," said Brumby. "They want to have their own independence and their own supply."

But while this change may be good for the country, it could be tough on older engines with carburetors.

"The gasket material may leak because the metals in the older engine may not be compatible with the ethanol," said Brumby.

Brumby said if you have any concerns, the best thing to do is check with your manufacturer about incompatibility issues.

But newer vehicles, however, should have no problems responding to the blended fuel.

"The gasket materials and metals and all the things used in the new engines are completely compatible with the ethanol now," said Brumby.

But two-stroke engines such as lawn mowers and weed eaters have seen problems with the ethanol fuel.

"They just can't take the ethanol," said Melissa Mele of Moss Bluff Mower Sales. "The smaller the engine, the more compression."

Mele of Moss Bluff Mower Sales said a majority of their customers' problems are related to ethanol use.

However, Mele said the best way to avoid future problems is to use an 89 octane fuel along with stabilizer products.

"It helps to remove carbon and varnish from the engine so that the engine will run smoother," said Mele.

The EPA is studying the possibility of blending 15% of ethanol and 85% of gasoline at future fueling sites.

Right now they're doing the proper research to make sure vehicles can handle that much ethanol.

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