Corbin station one of few statewide to sell Flex Fuel
When John Pasternak stopped to refuel his maroon 2007 Chevrolet Suburban at the Meijer gas station in Richmond, Ky., earlier this year, he tried something a little different.
Instead of filling his tank with regular unleaded 87 fuel, Pasternak reached for the newly installed E85 pump.
Little did he know, a few months later, Pasternak himself would be installing an E85 tank at his newly opened fill-up station in Corbin, John's Stop & Go.
"I decided to start selling the E85 to give people a less expensive alternative to regular gasoline and because of the benefits it offers," Pasternak said.
Ethanol is a clean-burning, high-octane fuel that is produced from a renewable resource: corn. E85 ethanol or "flex fuel" as it is more commonly known, is made up of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline.
At most stations E85 is usually 20 to 30 cents cheaper than the regular unleaded 87. But in some areas, like the first few months in Corbin, E85 can be up to as much as 70 cents cheaper.
Now at John's Stop and Go, E85's price has risen, but is still 26 cents cheaper per gallon.
Cheap prices aren't the only benefits flex fuel has.
Fossil fuel-based gasoline is one of the largest sources of toxic emissions around. But ethanol helps reduce the amount of harmful tailpipe emissions of carbon monoxide and other ozone-forming pollutants.
Some experts even say that ethanol even helps cut down America's dependence upon foreign sources of energy.
And that, because it is "American-made", renewable ethanol directly ousts the amount of crude oil imported from overseas distributors, which can offer the United States independence and security from foreign sources of energy.
Pasternak gets his E85 from another local company, Spurt Oil, located out of Barbourville, Ky.
According to Pasternak, flex fuel can also benefit your vehicle.
"The E85 fuel, besides being several cents cheaper than regular gas also burns a lot cleaner. Its better for the environment and also can help keep your engine clean of the normal carbon emissions associated with the others," Pasternak said. "Recently a mechanic looked at my engine and even though it has 100,000 miles he said it looked brand new and ethanol was keeping it clean."
John's Stop and Go is only one of 26 stations in 15 cities around the state of Kentucky that sells the E85 fuel.
Pasternak says that many vehicles are being made now that are solely run on flex fuel, but that many people are driving vehicles that are E85 compatible but they just don't know it.
"Most newer model SUVs can run on the E85," Pasternak said. "If its not labeled inside your gas cap, just look in your user manual."
Pasternak also says the fuel can be mixed with regular gasoline, and since beginning to sell the ethanol fuel in early May has seen a increase in business.
"A lot of people from Williamsburg, Barbourville and even London come right here just to fill up with the E85," Pasternak said. "It's been doing very well."
Studies show that the only downfall to the E85 would be that it burns quicker, resulting in fewer miles per gallon, but Pasternak said he's only noticed about a three to four mile difference and that over time it proves to be cost effective.
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