Unlike gasoline, ethanol conducts electricity; and while this property does not result in additional safety issues, it requires that all luminum be removed from the gasoline dispensing system. To reduce the possibility of equipment and systems failure or contamination, you must select proper materials and control the fuel composition. In this section, you will learn about E85 fueling equipment, processes, and standards.
The recommendations in this site are based on a decade of experience with E85 fueling systems in the Minnesota E85 pilot market as well as other markets across the United States. These procedures and equipment have performed well with E85. The fueling components are often readily available from local petroleum equipment suppliers, and any qualified equipment installer can perform the methods discussed.
Although ethanol-based fuels have been in use for decades, misconceptions persist concerning the impact ethanol will have on seals, elastomers and other components contained within the fuel dispensing system. DuPont, a major elastomer manufacturer, published information in 1993 indicating that high-blend ethanol (e.g E100) may actually be less troublesome than other, more common, gasoline additives. Download a copy of Leak Prevention of Reformulated Fuels and Oxygenates: Sealing Solutions to Protect the Environment and Meet Regulatoly Requirements to learn more about this issue.
OPW, a well-known fuel equipment manufacturer, has issued the following memorandum pertaining to common components and their compatibility with E85. As indicated in the Checklist for Installing or Converting Equipment to dispense E85, we recommend replacing the hanging hardware (connectors, swivels, hose, nozzle) with the appropriate items.
Some retailers and fleet fueling site operators overlook using a 1-micron alcohol dispenser filter with E85. This is the single most important safeguard against fuel contamination and customer vehicle issues. Although the 1-micron filter may cost more than a standard 10-micron gasoline or 30-micron diesel filter, the small investment is well worth it if a single problem is avoided. Cim-Tek is a well-known dispenser filter manufacturer. View all Cim-Tek ethanol compatible products.
Although this document was published in 1995, information provided in Fuel Ethanol (E85) Compatibility Standards and Dispensing Equipment List for E85 Fuel Vehicles is still valid today.
If a fueling site project and the selection of its contractor and equipment vendors are subject to a bid process, make certain that bid specifications include all necessary equipment requirements, local codes and standards, and all permit arrangements and costs. A variety of project types, equipment, and associated sample costs are provided for your information. These may help you and your potential vendors in defining project-specific bid details. An experienced contractor or a trusted equipment vendor will be able to assist in gathering bid specifications for your locale. View the fact sheet on the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency’s Web site that discusses Selecting a Certified Contractor.
If the fueling system will be located in an area where E85 and ethanol-blended fuels have not been in widespread use, you may run into a lack of awareness with equipment vendors and installers. If this occurs, or if you receive negative responses to E85-related inquiries, please contact the National Ethanol Vehicle Coalition (NEVC) or the organizations provided in the contacts section of this toolkit. The NEVC will be able to assist in answering your questions or those of your local vendor.