The Scoop On UL E85 Fueling Guidelines
As of Oct. 5, UL has suspended 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-percent alcohol. After another set of technical meetings in November, UL was unable to establish a list of generically acceptable metals or non-metals for use in E85 fueling systems.
Research indicates that the presence of high concentrations of ethanol or other alcohols within blended fuels makes these fuels significantly more corrosive," the UL statement said. "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-percent alcohol until updated certification requirements are established and the affected components have been found to comply with them.
—UL , 5 October 2006
What Does This Mean?
It is unlikely that this will be resolved in the next few months and it could be a few years until UL issues and tests guidelines for E85 dispensing equipment. As a result the acceptability of fuel dispensers using alcohol-blended fuels containing greater than 15-percent alcohol (e.g., E85) remains at the discretion of the authority having jurisdiction (AHJ).
Despite the concern over E85 dispensers many Fire Marshalls and AHJ's are recommending to allow E85 facilities to continue operations. Minnesota state fire marshal, Jerry Rosendahl has recommended continued operations throughout Minnesota (which leads the nation in the number of E85 fueling facilities) provided that their unblemished record of performance continues.
Although UL has expressed concern over problems with dispensing blends with greater than 15 percent alcohol, most petroleum industry manufacturers such as Dresser-Wayne continue to stand by their E-85 products. Dresser-Wayne's E85 compatible Reliance G6200 dispensers will continue to carry it's standard 1 year warranty on parts and labor regardless of UL developing additional E85 standards. G6200 Series alternative fuels models are specially designed for use with ethanol fuels. In the Reliance Series alternative fuels models all wetted aluminum and brass parts are electroless nickel-plated or hard anodized. In addition, galvanized piping is replaced with black iron pipe for compatibility with ethanol to help ensure clean fuel and long life.
Core's fuel storage experience includes Alternative fueling solutions such as E85, Ethanol and Biodiesel Fueling. To discuss your alternative fueling applications with a Core specialist contact us at 800-628-5502 or firstname.lastname@example.org