Not good news I.m afraid.
Minister Ryan signed legislation at the start of the year saying that by July all unleaded petrol must be at least E4(ie 4% ethanol). The NMAI lobbied the minister and got a response of sorts that more or less said that the average amount of alcohol had to be 4%. For example if a petrol station sold mostly E5 then they could sell a percentage of non alcoholic ?? petrol.
A neat solution for the minister to adress our concerns but hardly practical.
Quite a good thread started by Hum on this topic on this forum.
(by the way this does not affect the majority of microlights as most of our engines and aircraft are approved to use up to E10)
The February edition of FII has a section on the use of MoGas in Aviation, and included in it is the availability of ethanol free Mogas. I can forward same to you if you wish.
On the issue of carrying some E5 and some nil, there has been alot of comment about this in the UK forums, and it would appear that most MoGas is sourced from singled blended sources, so they cannot state categorically that it is ethanol free.
Many microlights are cleared for E10 by the engine manufacturer, as Higgie states, technically there is no provision by IAA yet to clear use of E4, or above, although it is allowed in the UK for aircraft less than 450kg, if suitable approved by the engine manufacturer.
Strangely, a comment was made to me last week that AvGas is now known to contain ethanol! Anyone got further info on this?
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So, since you can test for the alcohol in a testing vessel by adding water and ending up with it removed from the fuel and absorbed by the water, couldn't you simply do the same thing on a larger scale with, say a five gallon container, and then just sump the resulting water/alcohol out of the bottom of said container? Sort of refining it back to its original state and then using the "washed fuel" that remains. Just thinking theoretically here of course!!
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The problem is that when you remove the ethanol, you reduce the octane of the fuel also! Most engines require in the STC that you need At least 95 octane.
Also with ethanol, it absorbs water so fast that whilst refuelling, it will catch the humid air and pull it into the fuel, Now imagine the oppisite in the venturi, when its moving faster and dispersing!
Has anybody come across the option of a distributor etc. holding or supplying Ethanol free or would this be legal.
Has any more been heard of what the IAA are doing as the deadline is now here so choices getting limited.
Apparently our legislation does not apply in the North so it could still be a source even though it is possibly distributed from Dublin.
Went searching around Limerick yesterday (7 July 2010) and found that most places that had a high turnover actually had ethanol in their petrol (although the staff did not know) however, 2 small country garages still had ethanol-free mogas. Also, the Texaco garage on the road in to Limerick from Shannon (Shiels) had ethanol-free petrol, despite having had a delivery the previous day - perhaps Texaco 'premium' grade is ethanol-free... anyone else come across this?
My suggestion / question is, that as the raw petrol in the case of some brands arrives in Ireland and alcohol only added here does anyone know of a fuel distributor (wholesaler) who could purchase the raw petrol, in that it would not be for general retail sale, and sell in bulk etc. to the aviation community.
Goes without saying that Hazchem etc. would have to be in place.
Looks like most forecourt petrol now has ethanol.... any news on this 'good work' the IAA are doing to address the issueHiggie wrote:Don't panic Mr Mannering.
We believe the IAA are doing some very good work to adress the issue.
Thanks again for the spin in the flying cow( or should I say beast)
The NMAI chased this issue quite a bit, as did Brian Dillon. The last we heard the IAA were looking at Aeronautical Notice A.N. A16 as a matter of urgency.
This aim of this review was to allow a pilot to use mogas containing ethanol on the basis that they declared that they were aware of the increased risks .(or something to that effect)
We had hoped to have seen something by now but to be honest, we havent pushed it as much as we should have because most of our aircraft and engine manufacturers specifically allow us to use up to E10. i.e. mogas containing up to 10% ethanol.
Personally I have been using E4 for the last two years and both the Rotax 912s and the 582 absolutely love it.
No problems encountered so far, but then again there are 190hrs between both aircraft in the last year so it doesn't go stale.
I can give the IAA a call tomorrow to see whats happening if that helps
What about those that have a problem with Ethanol, plastic tanks etc. Is there any initiative to maintain a supply of the alcohol free stuff as it is obviously the safer option.
There appears to be 2 schools of thought as to whether it would be legal to sell alcohol free after July. Surely this is an area where IAA should be involved especially because of safety risks in aforementioned aircraft.
Any info on this?
"There appears to be 2 schools of thought as to whether it would be legal to sell alcohol free after July."
This is one question that we did get an answer to.
I don't have the letter from Minister Ryan to hand,but the gist of his response was that the overall percentage of ethanol in petrol distributed by an outlet must be 4%.
i.e. if a petrol station sells E8 then it can sell a similar quantity of petrol containing no Ethanol.
In the case of Maxol who sell E5 then they can sell one fifth of that quantity of non Ethanol petrol.( hope that sum is correct)
A politicians answer to be sure.
The question is, with the small quantities required in a given area, how could we convince a petrol station to go to the effort.
We are not aware of any of our fleet of microlights that have a problem with ethanol, but for everyone else it appears to be a case of educating yourself to the risks or else filing a lot of G.A.R. forms.
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