IRFA Summit Roundtable to Discuss Benefits of High-Octane Engine Technology

Contact: Cassidy Riley

New Engine Technology May Open New Markets for American Ethanol

JOHNSTON, IOWA – The days when the standard American vehicle is fueled by 87-octane fuel may soon be over. Regulations pushing higher fuel economy standards and fewer emissions have auto manufacturers looking at high-octane options, such as 30 percent ethanol blends.

The 2017 Iowa Renewable Fuels Summit “High-Octane: Fueling a New Era” panel will discuss the potential for this technology and whether it may be just a few pilot programs away from reaching an auto dealer showroom.

Research shows that today’s internal combustion engines can become much more efficient through downsizing and increasing compression. But efficient, high compression engines require a high-octane fuel, such as E30.  Currently, ethanol is the world’s cheapest source of fuel octane.

The panel will include Robert McCormick from the National Renewable Energy Lab who is an expert in leveraging fuel properties for design of more efficient engines; Dr. Andy Randolph from ECR Engines, Richard Childress Racing, who is regarded as one of the foremost applied combustion experts in the world; and Gary Herwick from Transportation Fuels Consulting, who brings 35 years of transportation fuel quality experience from General Motors. Tim Portz from BBI International will moderate.

“We need more efficient engines, which will require higher octane fuels,” said Iowa Renewable Fuels Association Executive Director Monte Shaw. “This panel of experts will discuss why mid-level ethanol blends like E30 are the smart answer to this challenge and how can we move from today’s low-octane fuels into a new era of high-octane fuels in high-compression engines.”

The Summit is free to attend and open to the public. Registration is required. The last day to register is January 27, 2017. The Summit will take place at the Meadows Conference Center at Prairie Meadows in Altoona, Iowa on Tuesday, January 31, 2017.

To register to attend and learn more about the 2017 Iowa Renewable Fuels Summit, please visit:

The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association represents the state’s liquid renewable fuels industry and works to foster its growth. Iowa is the nation’s leader in renewable fuels production with 43 ethanol refineries capable of producing 4 billion gallons annually – including nearly 55 million gallons of annual cellulosic ethanol production capacity – and 12 biodiesel facilities with the capacity to produce over 350 million gallons annually. For more information, visit the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association website at: