Ethanol in Unleaded Petrol

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ptawse
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Ethanol in Unleaded Petrol

Post by ptawse » Mon May 03, 2010 9:56 pm

Does anyone know what the situation is with regard to the continuing supply of Ethanol free Unleaded petrol? Rumour has it that it may soon become unavailable. This would obviously have serious consequences for many PPLs and Flying Clubs. AVGAS is not much of an alternative given the high price and limited availability.

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Re: Ethanol in Unleaded Petrol

Post by Higgie » Tue May 04, 2010 12:43 am

Peter
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)
regards
Higgie

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Re: Ethanol in Unleaded Petrol

Post by willo » Tue May 04, 2010 8:29 am

Hi Peter,

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?

Regards

Brian

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Flying Cow instructional video

Post by hum » Mon Jun 07, 2010 7:51 pm

Here is a short video showing an easy-to-make DIY gizmo and how to use it to test mogas for the presence of ethanol:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1O5sBrq4MJM
Attachments
ethanol gizmo.jpg
DIY Fuel Tester
ethanol gizmo.jpg (102.17 KiB) Viewed 6787 times
Last edited by hum on Thu Jul 08, 2010 9:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Ethanol in Unleaded Petrol

Post by SpamCan » Tue Jun 08, 2010 10:02 am

I believe ESSO will not have Ethanol in Petrol until July when it becomes mandatory.
Check it out.

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Re: Ethanol in Unleaded Petrol

Post by Higgie » Tue Jun 08, 2010 10:19 pm

Don't panic Mr Mannering.
We believe the IAA are doing some very good work to adress the issue.
Higgie

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Re: Ethanol in Unleaded Petrol

Post by lorax » Wed Jun 23, 2010 11:14 pm

HUM
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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Re: Ethanol in Unleaded Petrol

Post by Lambada Crazy » Thu Jun 24, 2010 2:21 am

@ Lorax

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!


LC
When a flight is proceeding incredibly well, something was forgotten.

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Re: Ethanol in Unleaded Petrol

Post by SpamCan » Thu Jul 01, 2010 12:55 pm

With ESSO due to add etahnol to all mogas this month, anyone got any alternative sources. I believe ESSO's fuel will come in to Ireland with Etahnol already added while some companies add it here.

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.

SC

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How do you know

Post by hum » Thu Jul 01, 2010 2:56 pm

I would imagine garages should give you a clue as to what you are buying...Although most don't seem to know... The only forecourt suppliers I have seen that actually declare ethanol content so far in Ireland are Maxol...they been doing it for over a year now...

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?
Last edited by hum on Thu Jul 08, 2010 9:34 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Ethanol in Unleaded Petrol

Post by SpamCan » Thu Jul 01, 2010 4:56 pm

Apparently legislation requires that all petrol retailed in Ireland from July onwards contain minimum 4% Alcohol. therefore from this month onwards and already in the case of Topaz and Maxol and possibly others there is already 4 to 5%.

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.

Sc

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Re: Ethanol in Unleaded Petrol

Post by hum » Wed Jul 07, 2010 11:00 am

Higgie wrote:Don't panic Mr Mannering.
We believe the IAA are doing some very good work to adress the issue.
Higgie
Looks like most forecourt petrol now has ethanol.... any news on this 'good work' the IAA are doing to address the issue :?:

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Re: Ethanol in Unleaded Petrol

Post by Higgie » Thu Jul 08, 2010 6:13 pm

Hi Hum
Higgie here.
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
regards
Higgie

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Re: Ethanol in Unleaded Petrol

Post by SpamCan » Fri Jul 09, 2010 1:48 am

"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."

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?

SC

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Re: Ethanol in Unleaded Petrol

Post by Higgie » Fri Jul 09, 2010 10:03 pm

Hi Spamcan
"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.

regards
Higgie

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