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Underwriters Labs raises questions about E85 pumps (Problems wth ethanol?)
Minneapolis StarTribune (aka The Red Star) ^ | 10/27/06 | Alexei Barrionuevo - NY Times

Posted on 10/27/2006 7:11:46 AM PDT by MplsSteve

The farm-produced fuel that is supposed to help wean the United States from its oil addiction is under scrutiny for its potentially corrosive qualities.

E85, a blend of 85 percent corn-based ethanol and 15 percent gasoline, could be eating away at metal and plastic parts in gas station pumps, Underwriters Laboratories, the private product-safety testing group, said this month.

BP, the British oil company, said Thursday that it would delay the expansion of E85 at its U.S. outlets until the laboratories certified an E85 dispensing system.

(Excerpt) Read more at startribune.com ...


TOPICS: Miscellaneous; News/Current Events; US: Minnesota
KEYWORDS: energy; ethanol; problem; renewableenergy; ul
Interesting. I've been following the growth of ethanol for a while - and truthfully, I didn't see this coming.

It sounds like a relatively easy thing to fix, I think.

Comments or opinions - anyone?

1 posted on 10/27/2006 7:11:49 AM PDT by MplsSteve
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To: Uncledave

Renewable Energy PING?


2 posted on 10/27/2006 7:12:13 AM PDT by MplsSteve
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To: MplsSteve

Fuel pumps in Brazil have dispensed 100% ethanol for years.


3 posted on 10/27/2006 7:13:47 AM PDT by Mr. Lucky
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To: MplsSteve

So, if it's ruining the gas station pumps, why would I be stupid enogh to put it in my car?


4 posted on 10/27/2006 7:14:27 AM PDT by Emmett McCarthy
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To: RedStateRocker; Dementon; eraser2005; Calpernia; DTogo; Maelstrom; Yehuda; babble-on; ...
Renewable Energy Ping

Please Freep Mail me if you'd like on/off

5 posted on 10/27/2006 7:15:43 AM PDT by Uncledave
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To: MplsSteve
WOW!!!This hit the wires over one week ago and this is the first I've seen or heard this reported.

Cover-up...just another cover-up...one more cover-up cover-up cover-up... .

6 posted on 10/27/2006 7:17:09 AM PDT by 100-Fold_Return (Vote Early...Vote Often!)
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To: Emmett McCarthy

>>>So, if it's ruining the gas station pumps, why would I be stupid enogh to put it in my car?

So many things I could say...but I won't.

First, mid you, they're talking about E85, not the E10, which is what is commonly available - and has been for years without difficulty. And there are few problems with properly engineered equipment when it comes to E85.


7 posted on 10/27/2006 7:20:55 AM PDT by Keith in Iowa (Liberals: People whose relationship to reality appears to be somewhat tenuous.)
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To: Emmett McCarthy

Dear Emmett McCarthy,

Putting E85 (85% ethanol) in one's car would be stupid, unless one has recently bought a "flex-fuel" vehicle that's equipped to run on E85, or unless one has converted one's vehicle to use E85.

E85 isn't for cars with regular gasoline engines.


sitetest


8 posted on 10/27/2006 7:21:44 AM PDT by sitetest (If Roe is not overturned, no unborn child will ever be protected in law.)
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To: MplsSteve

I dunno, Ethonol blends have been part of gas in many states for decades, I can remember it back in they late 70s and early 80s in NC where I lived gas being 10 or 15% ethanol routinely.. If it destroyed pumps, I'm sure it would be well documented by now.


9 posted on 10/27/2006 7:21:51 AM PDT by HamiltonJay
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To: MplsSteve
I didn't see this coming.

I just assumed that the gas stations would have all been told that they would need to make some pump modifications if they had not already purchased pumps capable of working with a high ethanol content. Sounds like someone skipped the fine print. :)
10 posted on 10/27/2006 7:26:42 AM PDT by P-40 (Al Qaeda was working in Iraq. They were just undocumented.)
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To: HamiltonJay
Back when it was first introduced, ethanol ate the rubber up in most German cars -- Beemers and Mercs for sure, I think the others too.

I know 'cause we were living in Jersey and had to replace all the hoses and seals in our 2002 tii . . .

11 posted on 10/27/2006 7:26:48 AM PDT by AnAmericanMother ((Ministrix of Ye Chase, TTGC Ladies' Auxiliary (recess appointment)))
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To: MplsSteve
I'm scratching my head too as the Ethanol I ran in my cars was right out of the tanks from a friend of mine - who ran an Ethanol plant from his farm. If I'm not mistaken he said it was 95%E to 5%G.

I never had a problem running for over a year in my Ford F150.

There is a pretty large lobby out there built to crush Ethanol useage. Who knows....

12 posted on 10/27/2006 7:29:18 AM PDT by Fighting Irish (Béagán agus a rá go maith)
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To: Keith in Iowa

I admit that I don't know much about it. Hell, I can't remember reading the owner's manual for my car, although I'm pretty sure I have one. From your screen name, I could guess that you would have reason to know about the product with the amount of corn which, I think, Iowa produces. I asked a question. Period.


13 posted on 10/27/2006 7:29:28 AM PDT by Emmett McCarthy
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To: Emmett McCarthy

>>> I asked a question. Period.

And I answered. Period.


14 posted on 10/27/2006 7:36:02 AM PDT by Keith in Iowa (Liberals: People whose relationship to reality appears to be somewhat tenuous.)
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To: MplsSteve
I recently took my motorcycle into the shop because it dropped a cylinder, and I was told that since the switch to the higher ethanol blend many bikes have come in with gummed up carburetors, just like mine. It seems that the ethanol-enhanced fuel breaks down the gasoline very quickly, and if a bike is left to sit for more than a week you can expect problems. I was advised to not use premium gas, which has even more ethanol, and to add a 50:1 ratio of 2 cycle oil to every tank of gas I buy from now on.This doesn't seem like progress to me.
15 posted on 10/27/2006 7:39:34 AM PDT by PUGACHEV
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To: AnAmericanMother

Ethanol goes way way way back before a 2002.. I can remember pumping Ethanol blend into our cars down in NC in the 70s and 80s... Now it may not have been E85 Ethanol, but Ethanol has been added to gasoline for a long long long time, at least in some states.. federal program to subsidize the corn growers or some such.



16 posted on 10/27/2006 7:41:04 AM PDT by HamiltonJay
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To: HamiltonJay
It was the 70s when I was living in Jersey.

Sunoco was the company that put the ethanol in their gas, IIRC.

I don't think anybody knew that it would eat up "furrin" cars like it did. The mechanic told me at the time that it was because the Germans used a particular synthetic rubber that apparently was soluble in alcohol!

I think they've changed it since. We haven't owned a German car since that old 2002 tii, but we have a little Volvo wagon that my daughter drives, and it's had no problem digesting the 10 percent ethanol from the local truck stop (cheapest gas in town.) The ethanol never caused a problem in any of our Fords either.

17 posted on 10/27/2006 7:46:48 AM PDT by AnAmericanMother ((Ministrix of Ye Chase, TTGC Ladies' Auxiliary (recess appointment)))
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To: PUGACHEV
If anything, ethanol would make your carburettor cleaner. Spark plugs should last almost indefinitely (100,000 miles) unless you're running a 2 stroke.
There is the possibility of phase separation with blended gasoline but it would take longer than a few weeks.
18 posted on 10/27/2006 8:03:19 AM PDT by Eric in the Ozarks (BTUs are my Beat.)
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To: AnAmericanMother
"The ethanol never caused a problem in any of our Fords either."

In the mid 80's I used the E10 in my crown vic, a new carb. was over $1000. Of course it was just out of warranty.

Never again! I'll stick to putting the corn squeezing in MY tank, not whatever I'm driving.
19 posted on 10/27/2006 8:14:19 AM PDT by Beagle8U (Getting the FReepers to bring down the Dixie Chix is hard work......G.W. Bush)
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To: Eric in the Ozarks

Only Sadaam Hussein expected things like gas pumps to last forever. They just need a maintenance schedule.


20 posted on 10/27/2006 8:15:59 AM PDT by ClaireSolt (Have you have gotten mixed up in a mish-masher?)
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To: PUGACHEV

read the revealing article on ethanol in the most recent Motorcycle Consumer News.


21 posted on 10/27/2006 8:16:15 AM PDT by Rakkasan1 ((Illegal immigrants are just undocumented friends you haven't met yet!))
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To: Beagle8U
We had a '69 Torino at that time.

Never had any trouble with the carb.

22 posted on 10/27/2006 8:18:48 AM PDT by AnAmericanMother ((Ministrix of Ye Chase, TTGC Ladies' Auxiliary (recess appointment)))
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To: AnAmericanMother
This was an 82. It had an electronic carb that had about a million little parts and gaskets. It couldn't even be rebuilt, it was fried.
23 posted on 10/27/2006 8:26:20 AM PDT by Beagle8U (Getting the FReepers to bring down the Dixie Chix is hard work......G.W. Bush)
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To: Rakkasan1

What do they say ?


24 posted on 10/27/2006 8:29:54 AM PDT by Eric in the Ozarks (BTUs are my Beat.)
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To: AnAmericanMother
"... Germans used a particular synthetic rubber that apparently was soluble in alcohol!"

A few years ago many cars were burning up on the freeways due to the "new blend" in gasoline (Los Angeles area). The gasoline was eating up the rubber fuel lines. Sounds like this is the same cause. Comments?
25 posted on 10/27/2006 8:30:03 AM PDT by olinr
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To: Beagle8U
Then that's the difference.

Ours was an old-fashioned mechanical model, 2bbl. I used to tune it myself, also replaced the starter and did a brake job on that old car in our driveway. Oil changes, new plugs and points, etc. were just routine. I still have the axle stands and the old Champion spark plug bucket!

You sure can't work on 'em like you used to!

26 posted on 10/27/2006 8:32:09 AM PDT by AnAmericanMother ((Ministrix of Ye Chase, TTGC Ladies' Auxiliary (recess appointment)))
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To: olinr
I would imagine that any time you put a new additive in gasoline, you run the risk of having it attack rubber parts.

Although you'd think they'd test it first . . .

27 posted on 10/27/2006 8:33:25 AM PDT by AnAmericanMother ((Ministrix of Ye Chase, TTGC Ladies' Auxiliary (recess appointment)))
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To: Beagle8U
Never again! I'll stick to putting the corn squeezing in MY tank, not whatever I'm driving.

I agree 100%. Unfortunately, however, we don't have a choice. The corn lobby has managed to persuade congress to require 15% ethanol in our fuel.

28 posted on 10/27/2006 8:33:32 AM PDT by curiosity
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To: MplsSteve
More proof that ethanol is garbage and a huge waste of taxpayer money.

End the subsidies. Make the corn lobby pay its own way. If it had to, the whole ethanol industry would collapse.

29 posted on 10/27/2006 8:34:28 AM PDT by curiosity
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To: curiosity

That's exactly right. Your choice in the matter has been removed, unfortunately, by politicians and other do-gooders. Straight gasoline is almost impossible to find.


30 posted on 10/27/2006 8:36:36 AM PDT by Eric in the Ozarks (BTUs are my Beat.)
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To: Fighting Irish
There is a pretty large lobby out there built to crush Ethanol useage.

LOL. You've got it backwards. There's a huge lobby of corporate welfare recipients (i.e. corn growers and ethanol distillers) pushing ethanol. There is no major industry group against it, nor is there any major lobbying organization. The only people trying to crush it are smart consumers who are fed up with the higher costs and lower mileage ethanol is causing in their cars. Oh yeah, and there are a couple intrepid scientists who are funding their anti-ethanol research out of their own pockets.

The oil companies are not fighting it. Neither are the car companies. Both groups are trying to cash in on some of the subsidies that are being made available.

31 posted on 10/27/2006 8:39:02 AM PDT by curiosity
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To: curiosity

Ok then ....all fine here...under control. Going back to sleep now


32 posted on 10/27/2006 9:06:34 AM PDT by Fighting Irish (Béagán agus a rá go maith)
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To: MplsSteve

"could be eating away at metal and plastic parts in gas station pumps"

Gee! They use metal and plastic in cars too, don't they?


33 posted on 10/27/2006 9:29:32 AM PDT by Pete from Shawnee Mission
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To: Eric in the Ozarks

best to avoid it.


34 posted on 10/27/2006 10:06:04 AM PDT by Rakkasan1 ((Illegal immigrants are just undocumented friends you haven't met yet!))
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To: Rakkasan1
best to avoid it.

Yeah, only trouble is, it's impossible, thanks to the ethanol mandates congress put in at the behest of the corn lobby.

35 posted on 10/27/2006 10:51:07 AM PDT by curiosity
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To: curiosity

No kiddin. I understand Minnesota has mandated a 20 percent blend of ethanol for all gasoline, beginning in 2008 or 2010.


36 posted on 10/27/2006 11:25:43 AM PDT by Eric in the Ozarks (BTUs are my Beat.)
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To: MplsSteve

This has been a HUGE deal in the petroleum equipment industry (which I work in).

I have a copy of the UL letter to our company which I can post here, if you're interested.


37 posted on 10/27/2006 11:28:36 AM PDT by Constitution Day (Free martin!)
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To: Pete from Shawnee Mission; olinr

Any type of porous metal (zinc, aluminum, etc) will suffer corrosion when exposed to E85 ethanol.
The solution is to plate the metal. Electroless nickel plating is what our company uses on machined aluminum castings.

Similarly, E85 attacks rubber parts so specialized synthetic rubber compounds must be used for o-rings, gaskets, etc.


38 posted on 10/27/2006 11:43:18 AM PDT by Constitution Day (Free martin!)
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To: MplsSteve; Uncledave
Here is the UL letter I referenced in #37. See you all Monday!


From: UL.Notification@us.ul.com
Sent: Thursday, October 05, 2006 2:13 PM
To: undisclosed-recipients
Subject: Important Notice on UL Certification of Dispenser Components for use with E-85

Dear Valued Customer:

Effective immediately, Underwriters Laboratories Inc. is suspending authorization to use UL Markings (Listing or Recognition) on components for fuel dispensing devices that specifically reference compatibility with alcohol blended fuels that contain greater than 15% alcohol (i.e. ethanol, methanol or other alcohols). Dispenser components as they relate to use with traditional fuel blends (i.e., blended fuels containing 15% or less alcohols) are unaffected. In all cases, acceptability of fuel dispensers for using alcohol-blended fuels containing greater than 15% alcohol (e.g., E-85) remains at the discretion of the Authority Having Jurisdiction.

Research indicates that the presence of high concentrations of Ethanol or other alcohols within blended fuels makes these fuels significantly more corrosive. This may result in the fuel chemically attacking the materials used in fuel dispenser components, and may ultimately degrade the dispenser’s ability to contain the fuel. While UL has no evidence of field issues related to this application, we are suspending authorization to use the UL Mark on components used in dispensing devices that will dispense any alcohol blended fuels containing over 15% alcohol until updated certification requirements are established and the effected components have been found to comply with them.

Our engineers are actively reviewing current E-85 research and meeting with industry and government experts to gather the information required to draft the revised certification requirements. UL anticipates that testing of E-85 dispenser components will commence immediately following publication of UL's E-85 certification requirements, as they pertain to the use of these higher alcohol blended fuels on a dispenser system. We remain committed to undertaking in an expeditious manner the thorough and broad based effort necessary to develop the appropriate requirements that will adequately address E-85 compatibility.

UL staff will be attending the PEI show in Las Vegas from October 9-11, 2006 and will be available to address any of your questions. We look forward to working with you in our effort to develop dispenser and dispenser component requirements for the use of Ethanol based fuels.

Best regards,

Kerry McManama
General Manager
Hazardous Locations and Gas & Oil
(phone number redacted)

39 posted on 10/27/2006 1:59:02 PM PDT by Constitution Day (Free martin!)
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To: Constitution Day

Thanks! I don't think E85 is too hard to avoid right now. I made long distance trips and it seems that all the gasoline in most of the places I went contained at least 10% ethanol. That coupled with the lower gas mileage of ethanol mean I probably won't use it too often. I probably will use the 10% now and then during the winter to get rid of any water in the tank.


40 posted on 10/27/2006 4:00:41 PM PDT by Pete from Shawnee Mission
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To: PUGACHEV

I stand corrected. the magazine article was Oct 2006
Metric Roadbike magazine.
it basically said that unless your bike is new and fuel injected, do not use it.


41 posted on 11/02/2006 12:19:46 PM PST by Rakkasan1 ((Illegal immigrants are just undocumented friends you haven't met yet!))
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To: Eric in the Ozarks

I stand corrected. the magazine article was Oct 2006
Metric Roadbike magazine.
it basically said that unless your bike is new and fuel injected, do not use it.


42 posted on 11/02/2006 12:20:33 PM PST by Rakkasan1 ((Illegal immigrants are just undocumented friends you haven't met yet!))
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