E85 Fuel Ethanol is a blend of denatured ethanol and gasoline in which the ethanol is nominally 75% to 85% denatured ethanol (Reference ASTM D 5798). It is not “gasoline”.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION THAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
Only ethanol-gasoline blends of 10% by volume, which is still “gasoline” and has been in the marketplace for many years and E85 Fuel Ethanol are permitted by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA). Note: Oregon Revised Statute (ORS) requires specifically 10% by volume ethanol be blended into gasoline with only eleven very specific exceptions
Any ethanol-gasoline blends between 10% ethanol blended gasoline and E85 Fuel Ethanol is in violation of Federal law. Thus, ethanol-gasoline blends such as “E20”, “E30”, “E40”, or some other ratio are not permitted. This is a Federal law and any questions regarding this must be addressed to the U.S. EPA.
There are numerous reports that this law may be changed but as of this posting, only 10% ethanol-gasoline blends and E85 Fuel Ethanol are permitted spark-ignition motor fuels.
E85 Fuel Ethanol may be used only
in automobiles designed and approved by the manufacturer as flex fuel vehicles.
E85 fuel ethanol specifications
E85 Fuel Ethanol must meet the 2011 Edition of ASTM D 5798, Standard Specification for Fuel Ethanol (Ed75-Ed85) for Automotive Spark-Ignition Engines
E85 fuel ethanol dispensers
E85 Fuel Ethanol has very different properties than standard gasoline or 10% ethanol-gasoline blends. It can have major impact on certain metals, rubber, PVC, etc. Thus, the equipment used to dispense E85 Fuel Ethanol must be compatible with this product.
Oregon currently requires that commercially used weighing and measuring devices have a National Type Evaluation Program (NTEP) Certificate of Conformance (CC) for the particular application of the device and. this requirement includes E85 Fuel Ethanol.
(Note: Neither the State of Oregon nor the agency endorse or sponsor the products, services, or information provided by this link; this information is provided for reference only.)
These preparations include but are not limited to replacing piping, seals, delivery hose, and nozzle with high ethanol content compatible components and installing an effective 1-micron ethanol fuel filter. The 1-micron ethanol fuel filter is especially important and Weights and Measures Program requires that this filter be mounted downstream of the dispenser’s meter and just prior to the delivery hose except when used with vapor recover dispenser systems where these system must be functional at all times. In these instances, the 1-micron filter may be mounted such that they do not interfere with the required vapor recover system and yet still be effective.
According to the U.S. DOE, these 1-micron ethanol fuel filters cost two to four times more than the standard gasoline filter but that they are well worth the investment. It is in the best interest of the consumers and businesses that E85 Fuel Ethanol is high quality and free of contaminants. The last thing anyone needs is to cause damage to a vehicle or to their own equipment, in addition to all of the other consequential costs.
Weights and measures jurisdictions in other states have permitted similar allowances and have experienced a variety of compliance issues with meter performance. Due to this, ODA Weights and Measures Program will conduct unannounced re-examinations approximately every six months of non-ethanol approved dispensers used for E85 Fuel Ethanol until either 1) the dispensers have proven their reliability holding prescribed tolerances or 2) they have been removed from service.
Unless clearly indicated on the NTEP CC, an NTEP approved gasoline dispenser is only approved to a maximum of 15% ethanol blended with gasoline or “E15”. However, it is important to note that at this time, E15 is not approved by the U.S. EPA as a motor fuel. Blending dispensers used for the blending of gasoline-ethanol blends to form other grades must be NTEP approved as a blending dispenser for that particular product and, furthermore, that product’s blend percentage must not exceed that allowed by the NTEP CC. As with any commercial measuring device, check with the device manufacturer if you have any questions regarding the proper usage of the device.
There are many reports circulating from well meaning individuals and organizations, and even from some government agencies that these requirements and NTEP approvals have changed or do not apply. Contact the ODA Weights and Measures Program for the correct information prior to taking any action.
As with any fuel dispensing system, it is important that the E85 Fuel Ethanol dispenser is issued an active Underwriter’s Laboratory (UL) approval. It is the responsibility of the E85 Fuel Ethanol device owner to assure it complies with UL standards and is UL approved for dispensing E85 Fuel Ethanol.
It is also important for the owners of E85 Fuel Dispensers to check with the State of Oregon Fire Marshall’s Office, Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), and other state and local authorities prior to taking delivery and operation of E85 Fuel Ethanol.
It is emphasized that utilization of an NTEP and UL approved E85 Fuel Ethanol dispenser system is far preferred and will likely provide much better service over time than a dispenser that was not designed nor NTEP and UL approved for E85 Fuel Ethanol.
E85 fuel ethanol dispenser labeling
Each retail and non-retail (e.g., cardlock) dispensers of E85 Fuel Ethanol shall be labeled in type that is at least 1/2 inch in height and 1/16 inch stroke (width of type). Labeling must be posted on the upper 50% of the dispenser front panels in a position that is clear and conspicuous from the driver’s position. Labeling must state:
• “E85 Ethanol”
• “For Use in Flexible Fuel Vehicles (FFV) Only”
In addition, dispensers shall be labeled with the E85 label required by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) 16 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 306, that states,
• “E85 MINIMUM 70% ETHANOL
This label has process black border and Helvetica black type with PMS 1495 orange or equivalent background. This label is somewhat similar in appearance to gasoline octane labels.
Be aware, other “promotional” type labels are available and may lend to marketing of E85 Fuel Ethanol, however, some do not contain the required language nor the correct size of lettering.