Ford and General Motors Inc. have approved use of a higher concentration of ethanol fuel in new vehicles — a significant victory for the biofuels industry.

New GM and Ford vehicles will accept a fuel blend that’s 15 percent ethanol, as opposed to the standard 10 percent blend. For GM, that will begin with 2012 models, while Ford will accommodate the fuel in 2013 models, according to Oil Price Information Service, which first reported the news.

The auto industry’s resistance to higher blends of ethanol — which it says are more corrosive to older engine models — has long been a roadblock in getting higher concentrations of ethanol fuel blends on the market.

Clearing that is important for the biofuels industry, which has said it needs the higher blend, known as E15, to meet a mandate that requires refiners to blend 36 billion gallons of biofuels into traditional transportation fuel by 2022.

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