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WYTHEVILLE, Va. -- This month, the Sheetz store in Wytheville became one of seven company locations in the country to offer the corn-based fuel, E85, Southwest Virginia Today reported.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, there are only 2,324 stations in the entire country that carry E85 -- 11 of which are in Virginia, the report stated.
Sheetz' Wytheville store manager Tracy Patton said she thinks her location might be the only one in this part of Virginia to carry the alternative fuel. "People have stopped in just because they saw the yellow E85 marker on the sign on the interstate," she reported.
The station sold about 1,000 gallons of E85 the first week it was offered.
"Some people come in and ask me what E85 is. And some people don't even know they have flex-fuel vehicles," Patton said in the report. Made from 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline, E85 fuel is only compatible with Flexible Fuel Vehicles (FFV).
Regular engines cannot run on E85 because some materials in the fuel system may suffer damage if overly exposed to high ethanol content fuels. FFV engines, however, are designed to handle a fuel blends with up to 85 percent ethanol, allowing it to use E85 or regular gasoline.