Underwriters Laboratories Says Standard Gasoline Pumps Only Certified to Handle Up to 10% Ethanol

Posted on February 15, 2009. Filed under: Field-to-Pump | Tags: , , , , , |

Underwriters Laboratories Says Standard Gasoline Pumps Only Certified to Handle Up to 10% Ethanol



Green Car Congress

February 8, 2009




In January, Underwriters Laboratories issued a statement saying that gasoline pumps certified under the UL 87 standard are only covered for handling fuel with up to 10% ethanol. According to the American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE), the US’ largest ethanol advocacy organization, the fuel marketing community had understood UL 87 to cover the use of up to 15% ethanol in standard gasoline pumps.



The difference is critical for the potential use of intermediate ethanol blends (e.g., E15, E20). Ron Lamberty, ACE’s Vice President / Market Development sent a letter to August Schaefer, UL’s Senior Vice President & Chief Operating Officer expressing his group’s concern, saying: Recent statements by UL that have changed the meaning of the standard without any accompanying change in data, coupled with similar action by UL two-and-a-half years ago regarding E85, have caused many within the ethanol industry to question whether UL—an organization built on a reputation of precision and impartiality—has at very least treated ethanol issues with carelessness and at times appears to have an anti-ethanol bias.


In the letter, Lamberty wrote that, even though the UL 87 standard does not specifically mention E10 or E15, it refers to underlying standards that employ such clear phrases as “ethanol does not exceed 15 percent” and “approved for gasoline/ethanol blends up to 15 percent ethanol” and “gasoline with up to 15 percent ethanol.” Consistent with these E15 definitions is the language in the standard for E85 dispensing equipment, UL 87A, which states “current dispensing equipment listings are limited to fuels with a maximum 15 percent alcohol.”


Although intermediate blends of ethanol are not yet sanctioned by the US government, the state of Minnesota has enacted legislation calling for E20 (20% ethanol) by 2015 (earlier post).


About Renergie

Renergie was formed by Ms. Meaghan M. Donovan on March 22, 2006 for the purpose of raising capital to develop, construct, own and operate a network of ten ethanol plants in the parishes of the State of Louisiana which were devastated by hurricanes Katrina and Rita.  Each ethanol plant will have a production capacity of five million gallons per year (5 MGY) of fuel-grade ethanol.  Renergie’s “field-to-pump” strategy is to produce non-corn ethanol locally and directly market non-corn ethanol locally. On February 26, 2008, Renergie was one of 8 recipients, selected from 139 grant applicants, to share $12.5 million from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Renewable Energy Technologies Grants Program.  Renergie received $1,500,483 (partial funding) in grant money to design and build Florida’s first ethanol plant capable of producing fuel-grade ethanol solely from sweet sorghum juice. On  April 2, 2008, Enterprise Florida, Inc., the state’s economic development organization, selected Renergie as one of Florida’s most innovative technology companies in the alternative energy sector.  On January 20, 2009, Florida Energy & Climate Commission amended RET Grant Agreement S0386 to increase Renergie’s funding from $1,500,483 to $2,500,000. By blending fuel-grade ethanol with gasoline at the gas station pump, Renergie will offer the consumer a fuel that is renewable, more economical, cleaner, and more efficient than unleaded gasoline.  Moreover, the Renergie project will mark the first time that Louisiana farmers will share in the profits realized from the sale of value-added products made from their crops.


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    Renergie created “field-to-pump," a unique strategy to locally produce and market advanced biofuel (“non-corn fuel ethanol”) via a network of small advanced biofuel manufacturing facilities. The purpose of “field-to-pump” is to maximize rural development and job creation while minimizing feedstock supply risk and the burden on local water supplies.


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