Blighted harvest: The American corn ethanol disaster
"Perhaps the most devastating effect of the ethanol industry is the
destruction of the small engine. An in depth analysis shows that when a
gasohol mixture contains more than 0.5% water (which can easily
accumulate due to humidity on a hot day), the ethanol starts to
decompose, forming a single phase separation layer of ethanol and water
at the bottom of a fuel tank. Because this small layer of ethanol and
water does not support combustion, it gets sucked into the engine,
clogging up and permanently destroying the carburetor.
Billions of dollars have been spent in the past few years on countless
lawn mowers, weed eaters/trimmers, blowers, lawn equipment, boat, and
other small engines that have all failed due to ethanol corruption.
While this dynamic has provided a huge boost to the small engine
creation and repair industries, it has consistently put consumers at a
For example, water damage of a carburetor is no longer covered by
product warranties or protection (insurance) plans on lawn equipment.
This failure is specifically considered the fault of the owner, even
when the product recommends using E15. "