Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
 
Old 25 April 2014, 09:39   #1
Member
 
Country: UK - England
Town: Sussex
Boat name: Bombard, Y-162
Make: Aerotec 380, Y-Class
Length: 3m +
Engine: Mercury Mariner 15hp
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 2,691
Ethanol in fuel - a potential disaster??

Just been chatting to the local dealer about servicing in general and he was pretty much sounding suicidal about the issues ethanol is causing, especially to small engines.

They are a marine workshop but also have a large side of the business dedicated to mowers/small agricultural/garden equipment and have noticed issues increasing with fuel related problems but he was apocolyptic about how this has multiplied over the past year - cannot stress enough how in his words it is an un-mitigated disaster not just with poor running but eating away fuel lines, pumps, tanks, seals and causing thousands of pounds worth of damage to older cars/bikes and an endless cycle of grief. The 15% ethanol that is now being added to many fuels (except perhaps BP Ultimate types?) is something they just don't know what to do about, E5 and E10 being bad enough - running them dry is no guarantee.

A search bring up endless reports:

https://www.google.co.uk/search?sour....0.6r6qd0qrKmo

http://www.groups.tr-register.co.uk/...ol-update.html

Anyone add to this or looked into it more?

Edit:

http://www.thepembleton.org.uk/ePAG/.../ethanol.shtml

This report below is a bit windy but the recommendations below are not good.

http://www.thepembleton.org.uk/ePAG/...tudyreport.pdf

6 Conclusions

6.1 Fuel System compatibility

6.1.1 Vehicle problems resulting from the introduction of E10

Based on the experience of other markets where E10 has been introduced it is estimated that the majority of vehicles ten years old or older will not be compatible with E10 due to fuel system material incompatibility issues.
Field experience, vehicle trials and laboratory testing have demonstrated carburettor vehicles and powered two wheelers will suffer problems due to material incompatibility, corrosion and drivability problems.

Field experience has demonstrated first generation spark ignition direct injection vehicles are not compatible with E10 due to fuel system material incompatibility issues.

Field experience has demonstrated that vehicles and petrol fuelled equipment fitted with glass fibre fuel tanks may suffer catastrophic failure due to the incompatibility of the glass fibre resin with petrol ethanol blends.

****In addition to vehicles considered here, this could affect other applications not directly considered by this report, such as lawn mowers and pleasure craft. ****

Some documents do exist that have limited lists of vehicles compatible with E10 but if doubt exists the vehicle operator should contact the vehicle manufacturer for clarification.
Fuel filter blockage and reduced life of exhaust gas after treatment systems, the latter due to enleanment causing increased exhaust gas temperature, may be issues but this cannot be determined from the information gathered during this project. Vehicle trials and engine tests will be necessary to clarify the situation.

6.2 Carburettor icing

The findings of this study suggest the introduction of E10 will not result in a fuel that is more susceptible to causing carburettor icing.

6.3 Number of vehicles affected

Based on vehicle age, approximately 8.6 million vehicles will be unable to run on E10. Additionally some thousands of relatively new first generation SIDI vehicles and powered two wheelers will be unable to run on E10. A more exact estimation is not possible based on information available.

Based on an average vehicle life of 13 years very approximately half these vehicles will still be in use when the proposed phase out of E5 takes place in 2013.

Recommendations

*****Vehicles ten years old or older, carburettored vehicles (including powered two wheelers) and first generation direct injection spark ignition vehicles should not be fuelled on E10 unless the manufacturer can state the vehicles are compatible with E10. *****

The automotive industry should produce a comprehensive list of vehicles compatible with E10. While it is acknowledged that some lists do already exist if in doubt the vehicle operator should seek clarification from the vehicle manufacturer.

E5 should not be phased out in 2013, its widespread availability should continue for the foreseeable future.

Consideration should be given to maintaining a specification for E0 fuel for historic and vintage vehicles.
__________________

__________________
Max... is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25 April 2014, 11:03   #2
Member
 
Country: UK - England
Town: Sussex
Boat name: Bombard, Y-162
Make: Aerotec 380, Y-Class
Length: 3m +
Engine: Mercury Mariner 15hp
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 2,691
I did a search for ethanol in the title but barely any ethanol specific discussions seem to come up on here but a Google search for outboard specific info turns up a lot:

https://www.google.co.uk/search?sour....0.elxKSvEFOgY

Useful FAQ re' ethanol from Yamaha here:

Ethanol Topics | Yamaha Outboards

05. Can I use fuel with a higher percentage of ethanol, such as E15 or E85?

No, all of the negative issues discussed in this FAQ section will be increased and may cause major damage to the engine
__________________

__________________
Max... is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25 April 2014, 11:26   #3
Member
 
Country: USA
Town: Seattle
Boat name: Water Dog
Make: Polaris
Length: 4m +
Engine: Yamaha 60hp
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 1,152
We've been using E10 in the country for at least 15 years. So the bits about any vehicle older than 10 yrs being incompatible with E10 seems a bit dated (2010 date on report) or maybe only applicable to the UK?

We don't have E15 or E5 for that matter and there's no push to introduce either here. There are a few regions of the country with an E85 blend but there are special engines for that.

At least for the past decade+ everything marine here has adapted to E10 here pretty much fine. There's an occasional report of someone experiencing phase separation or some other problem with aged fuel. And innumerable additives claiming to solve all the problems with E10 in boats.

At this point, there are almost no reports of GRP tanks failing due to the alcohol. I suspect any GRP tanks susceptible to this problem have long since experienced it and then been replaced.

Given the fact that so many auto parts are globally sourced I would be surprised if hoses and pump diaphrams etc are any more prone to failure in the UK vs here. E10 is not causing that laundry list of purported problems here and never really did. We never had E5 and went from straight gas (petrol) to an MTBE blend. That was relatively quickly phased out for E10 depending on the region.

The vintage car people whined about the introduction of E10 just like in those reports. Magically, civilization didn't crash as projected
__________________
captnjack is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25 April 2014, 11:35   #4
Member
 
Country: USA
Town: Oakland CA
Length: 3m +
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 6,653
Quote:
Fuel filter blockage and reduced life of exhaust gas after treatment systems, the latter due to enleanment causing increased exhaust gas temperature, may be issues but this cannot be determined from the information gathered during this project.
In other words, "we're guessing".

In the US, there have been reports of major problems with ethanol based fuels, primarily with 60's and 70's vintage cabin cruisers which used fiberglass fuel tanks with a specific vinylester resin. The fuel ends up thickening, requiring complete disassembly and cleaning of the entire fuel system. Tank integrity, of course is a major issue as well.

Other than those, I don't recall any instance where problems could definitively be traced to ethanol. Instances of phase separation could not rule out water ingress (and most were reported shortly after heavy rains); contamination generally involved contaminants that were not ethanol specific, stuff like that.

Yes, older rubber hoses are susceptible to ethanol degradation, but I suspect it's more like 15 or 20 year old hoses rather than the 10 year listed in the report (which I haven't read through, just so you know.)

Ethanol (E10) has been used in the US for at least 15 years, probably longer. Pushes for higher concentration have stalled, at least for the time being. I don't know who's using what concentrations, except that Brazil has gone to E85 nationwide.

The interesting item I found about ethanol is that production of ethanol for the US fuel market generally consumes more fossil fuel than the end result saves.

jky
__________________
jyasaki is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25 April 2014, 11:47   #5
Member
 
Country: UK - England
Town: Sussex
Boat name: Bombard, Y-162
Make: Aerotec 380, Y-Class
Length: 3m +
Engine: Mercury Mariner 15hp
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 2,691
More feedback the better, I was told that some supermarkets (Morrisons?) are now supplying E15 and it appears this will be more in the future?

Apparantly we in the UK will comply with the EU directive but Germany for one refuses to due to the issues reported.

In the Yam' FAQ they (ie a manufacturer) seems very aware of ethanol issues, seems a total PITA:

"What can I do to prevent issues with E10 fuel?

Total prevention of issues may not be possible but there are steps you can take to minimize the occurrence and severity of the negative affects of E10 fuel:

• If at all possible, do not use E10 fuel.

• Ideally (before switching to E10 fuel) have your fuel tank completely drained to remove any accumulated water. As little as 16 oz. of water can promote phase separation in 25 gals of E10 fuel. The result would be 2.75 gals of unusable ethanol and water mixture on the bottom of the tank.

• If the tank can be completely drained, the internal surfaces should be mechanically cleaned to remove rust or aluminum oxides. Fuel polishing companies may be able to provide this specialized service.

• Consider replacing the fuel tank in an older boat.

• If your boat has fiberglass fuel tanks built prior to the early 1990’s, consult with your boat builder concerning E10 compatibility.

• If unable to completely drain and clean your tank before switching to E10 fuel, add as much E10 fuel as possible to minimize the possibility of phase separation. Example: 16 oz of water may cause phase separation in 25 gals of E10 but 16 oz of water in 30 gals would be safe from phase separation.

• Install a Yamaha 10-micron water separating/fuel filter between the boat’s fuel tank and the engine.

• Change the 10-micron filter every 25 hours of use until there are no indications of excessive water and contaminates collecting in the filter. Normal filter changes are recommended every 50 hours of use.

• Carry extra filters and change more frequently if there are indications the efficiency of the filter is rapidly diminishing due to excessive water and contaminates.

• Do not drain a used filter and reinstall. Contaminated fuel can enter the filtered side of the filter while draining.

• Buy name brand fuel.

• Buy fuel from the same source if possible.

• Buy fuel from stations that have newer, cleaner storage tanks.

• Occasionally, test your fuel to verify the amount of ethanol is not higher than 10%. The blending of ethanol with gasoline by distributors is not a precision process. Inexpensive test kits are available, GOOGLE E10 Fuel Test Kit.

• Regularly use Yamaha Fuel Stabilizer to retard fuel aging.

• Stabilize fresh fuel before storing. Stabilizers do not help fuel that has already aged. Stabilizers are most effective when immediately added to fuel fresh from the gas station or marina fuel pump."
__________________
Max... is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25 April 2014, 13:38   #6
Member
 
Country: USA
Town: Seattle
Boat name: Water Dog
Make: Polaris
Length: 4m +
Engine: Yamaha 60hp
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 1,152
If you have 16 oz of water in your fuel tank you are really asking for a heap of trouble, ethanol or not.
__________________
captnjack is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26 April 2014, 07:34   #7
Member
 
Country: UK - England
Town: Sussex
Boat name: Bombard, Y-162
Make: Aerotec 380, Y-Class
Length: 3m +
Engine: Mercury Mariner 15hp
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 2,691
Mercury FAQ is a bit less pessimistic:

Ethanol Fuels FAQs | Storage & Maintenance Outboards FAQs | Mercury Marine

Chatting again to the mechanics this morning the consensus is don't go near Supermarket fuel, stick to the Super Unleaded BP types, use a fuel stabaliser all year round and don't use fuel that's older than a few weeks.
__________________
Max... is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27 April 2014, 15:46   #8
Member
 
Country: USA
Town: Oakland CA
Length: 3m +
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 6,653
A few articles on ethanol:

three ethanol myths
BoatUS Magazine: Three Ethanol Myths Clarified

ethanol and older engines
https://www.boatus.com/seaworthy/mag...derEngines.asp

older fiberglass tanks
https://www.boatus.com/seaworthy/fueltest.asp#results

E10 tips (brief)
https://www.boatus.com/seaworthy/e10Tips.pdf

tips
Ethanol Impact on Boat Engines – Get The Latest Boating News & Tips – BoatTrader.com


Ultimately, what you end up doing (or not) about it is up to you. I personally don't do anything special, and don't go out of my way to avoid E10. Don't know about E15, as it hasn't been rolled out here (but is likely on the horizon. The ethanol lobby is pretty strong in the US.)

My suggestion is to do a *lot* of research, and don't just blindly listen to the doomsayers. Bounce that against real-world reported problems, then decide what course of action is appropriate.

jky
__________________
jyasaki is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28 April 2014, 07:10   #9
Member
 
Country: UK - Scotland
Boat name: Wildheart
Make: Humber/Delta Seasafe
Length: 5m +
Engine: Merc 60 Clamshell
MMSI: 235068449
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 4,610
the poor running is down to the engine being tuned to burn something that goes bang a bit quicker & hotter than Ethanol.


Modern car engines don't notice because they can auto adjust to whatever mix is in there using knock sensors etc and most should be programmed to deal with it. A carb on a lawnmower / hedge trimmer is set the way it is set, so you have to feed it what it was tuned for.... or re- tune it.

It's a bit like tuning your Morris Minor to run on 2 star & then wondering why it runs like a bag of spanners when you fill the tank with 4 star.

(for those of you not old enough to remember stars, they were fuel grades on forecourts around the time of Morris Miinors! )
__________________
9D280 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28 April 2014, 07:21   #10
Member
 
Country: UK - England
Town: Sussex
Boat name: Bombard, Y-162
Make: Aerotec 380, Y-Class
Length: 3m +
Engine: Mercury Mariner 15hp
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 2,691
Sadly I am old enough to remember 4 star - I suspect the high octane 4 star we grew up with was like rocket fuel in comparison to the bio-crap EU-juice we get now...
__________________

__________________
Max... is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off





Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 00:05.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.