A workshop that started today at the University of Northern Iowa is focusing on the controversies surrounding additives used to add oxygen to gasoline. More than 20 high school and community college faculty members from around the country are attending the conference in Cedar Falls. U-N-I environmental programs director Ed Brown says they’ll discuss how decisions regarding the additives M-T-B-E and ethanol are made.He says they go beyond a discussion of the issues to talk about the science involved. Brown says despite all the talk about the petroleum based M-T-B-E and the corn-based ethanol, he still finds many students who don’t know what the products do.He believes the ignorance of the need for increasing the oxygen in gas spreads nationwide. Brown says the topic of this conference was chosen amid the discussions over whether California should be required to continue using oxygenated fuel. M-T-B-E has been banned in the Golden State due to groundwater contamination. That’s opened the door for the use of ethanol.He says they now need to determine if there are any unforeseen problems with ethanol, as there were when the E-P-A mandate the use of M-T-B-E. This is the seventh annual workshop of its type put on by U-N-I’s Advanced Technology Environmental Education Center. The workshop runs today through the 28th.
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