In an interview with Michigan Ag Today, Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor discusses her participation in a trade mission to Mexico City with the U.S Department of Agriculture. Skor highlighted the interest of the Mexican government in increasing E10’s availability nationwide:
“They’ve recently opened up to a 10 percent blend—they hadn’t been using ethanol before,” said Skor. “How do we get Mexico to a point where it’s like the United States where ethanol is great for the rural economic development. Something very important to the president of Mexico is affordable gas prices for his consumers.”
Mexico’s three largest cities Mexico City, Guadalajara, and Monterrey all have E-10 restrictions on them. There are other proponents for the E10 push in these urban areas.
“It’s a combination for Mexico—similar to the United States,” [Skor said]. “They want affordable gasoline and they want to use ethanol to spur rural economic development.”
For more information on Skor’s trade mission, click here.
Mexico is currently using methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE) in their fuel. MTBE is an octane additive, however, due to groundwater contamination concerns and its impact on human health, it’s been explicitly banned in 26 states in the U.S. and phased out of the U.S. fuel supply.
In 2017, the Mexican government announced that it would increase its blending goal to 10 percent ethanol (E10), from the previous 5.8 percent blend, across the country, excluding it’s three largest cities Mexico City, Monterrey, and Guadalajara. However, in a recent study on five major international cities facing significant air quality issues, Mexico City had the highest potential greenhouse gas emissions reductions at an E10 blend, with 5.1 percent cumulative emissions savings. Additionally, according to a 2018 study by Mexico’s Instituto Mexicano de Petroleo (IMP), ethanol is historically two pesos per liter less expensive than MTBE, while also providing benefits for engine performance and emissions reductions.