Intermediate Ethanol Blends in Small Engines

Minnesota State University-Mankato/Bruce Jones and Gary Mead

In order to increase the ethanol content of gasoline to blends higher than 10% for non-flexible fueled vehicles a waiver must be obtained by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In the 1970s when the waiver was granted for E10, the EPA did not require small engines be included in the process. Therefore, no testing was done on small engines. Today the EPA regulates approximately 900 combinations of engine and components with small non-road engines (SNRE). Millions of SNREs are sold each year in the form of leaf blowers and string trimmers, lawn mowers, snow blowers, generators and small tractors. The study evaluates the performance of small 2-stroke cycle and 4-stroke cycle engines using intermediate ethanol blends.