What is the “Blend Wall?”

As biofuel mandates increase, the ethanol volume required
for blending into gasoline will exceed 10 percent – known
as the “E10 Blend Wall.” The Blend Wall is the maximum
amount of ethanol that can be blended into gasoline,
based on the limitations of the vehicle fleet and refueling
infrastructure.

The demand for unblended gasoline (E0) is significant. The EIA estimated EO consumption reached 5.3 billion in 2015. Blending limitations, refueling infrastructure, and consumer demand reinforce the ethanol blend wall.

The blend wall problem could constrain domestic fuel
supply and result in severe economic harm, according to a
study by NERA Economic Consulting. NERA found that:

  1. It is not feasible to achieve the volume of total
    renewable fuels required by the RFS statute.
  2. A 30% reduction in gasoline and diesel supply would
    be required to reach the required blending percentage.
  3. Severe rationing of diesel fuel would cause an extreme
    disruption in the commercial transportation sector.

High ethanol blended fuels, like E85, are not viable
solutions for reaching renewable fuel consumption targets
of the RFS, even if cellulosic standards are waived.