Marines

Alternative fuel available for government vehicles

5 Aug 2005 | Lance Cpl. Brandon R. Holgersen

Camp Lejeune is the first base in the Marine Corps to offer 85 percent ethanol fuel mix, which can be used in more than 100 of alternative fuel vehicles here.

The mixture, known as E85, provides a cheaper, safer and more efficient fuel to government vehicles. E85 has a 100 to 105 octane rating, which is much higher than even premium grade gasoline. It burns cleaner and most of the gases that are released can be absorbed by plants for nutrients unlike pure gasoline, which release gases into the atmosphere, according to www.ofee.gov.

“The fuel allows vehicles to get a high power output on their fuel,” Taylor said.

The fuel is environmentally friendly in other ways as well, according to Taylor. Since the fuel is composed primarily of organic material, there would be a very small impact on the environment if there were to be a spill.

The 85 percent ethanol mix emits 80 percent less benzene, 25 percent less nitrogen oxide, which is the main source of urban smog, and seven percent less carbon dioxide than reformulated gasoline, according to the Website.

The ethanol fuel mix also helps local farmers because grains and corn are used to make the ethanol fuel, according to Harold L. Taylor, the manager at the Hadnot Point Fuel Farm here.

“A lot of the money being used to purchase the fuel is used right here at home instead of going to outside countries,” Taylor said.

The use of ethanol mixed fuel also decreases the United States’ dependence on foreign oil, ultimately making gas prices cheaper.

All government vehicles that can use the ethanol fuel mix have a placard on the inside of the vehicle stating that it is a flex fuel vehicle, according to Taylor. The pumps at different fueling stations, which were installed July 25 as a result of the Energy Policy Act and Executive Order 13149 to help meet air quality standards, are also marked stating whether they are unleaded gasoline or an ethanol fuel mix.

The base is continuing to purchase more fuel flexible vehicles to increase contributions to protecting the environment, according to Taylor.

“The new fuel pumps and vehicles show that the Marine Corps is being proactive with environmentally friendly fuels,” Taylor said.