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UL may suspend listing new E85 pump

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I don't know how many people know about blender pumps, but that is the way to go in my opinion. I noticed these pumps in Arkansas a few years ago dispensing regular,midgrade and premium from one nozzle. After understanding what was going on, I thought, why not do that with ethanol. Calling around, everyone said it wasn't possible. A year and a half ago I went to the airshow at Oshkosh, WI and was surprised to buy E-85 being dispensed with a blender pump. Utica Energy, the local ethanol plant was starting to market their own fuel--- E-10, E-20, and E-85. They haul ethanol over from the plant and put it in a tank and then they have another tank with straight unleaded.  The pump does the blending and because they are direct marketing the price at that time for 85% was 72 cents less the 10%. This year they have more stations and their E-85 was $1.10 less the the BP next door had regular priced. After finding out more, the state of WI gave them the OK even though the pump is technically unapproved. I've talked to the Dresser Wayne pump mfg. and they have been trying to get UL to get it approved but it seems UL is trying to go as slow as possible. The good thing about this setup is you don't have a separate E-85 tank that may not get used much.

 

welcome aboard cessna

 

 

Someone else has mentioned these blender pumps before..believe it was 1outlaw (he works fro Utica) but cant find the post right now.  That still dosent solve the UL listing though. They would still need to be approved .

 

 

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Cessna- Blender pumps would also eventually need to be UL certified. Keep in mind there has NEVER been a UL certified pump made. The blender pump may be the last to be certified because oil companies will try to keep E85 on a separate dispenser away from their products. The biggest advantage of a blender pump is that the ethanol can come in as E85 or straight denatured ethanol and be blended into all products- thus the alcohol can come direct from any ethanol plant (regardless of whether or not they can plant blend e85) and avoid the inefficiencies of trucking ethanol to a fuel terminal to be blended into E10 and/or E85.

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Hi 1outlaw, I happened to fuel at a Renew station a year and a half ago and P. Younger was there checking the sales receipts for the day. I was surprised at the dispenser because I had talked to the Seneca pump guys in Des Moines and Omaha a couple of years earlier about a blender and they said there was no way to blend 15/85 and 90/10. I gave up, figuring they knew more than me. Then when I saw the Gilbarco over your way I contacted Curtis Donaldson at Clean Fueling in Texas. They are in the certification business for E-85 pumps and he finally told me to contact Dresser Wayne pump, which I did. For the last year I have been told "in a couple of more months it will be UL approved". I guess it boils down to, petroleum marketers don't want these pumps because they are too efficient and could cut them out. I have a friend with National Corn Growers and I don't think he wants blenders either and would rather see 80 to 100 thousand $ spent on separate E-85 tanks and pumps at just a few locations. It's too bad politics has to get in the way.

 

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Hi Cessna- It was me you met. Many in the oil industry and others who fear about molehills, believe that E85 should be sold on a separate dispenser so that the consumer will not mistake E85 for "real gas" and cause damage to standard vehicles- giving E85 a bad name. Let me list the damage claims we have experienced;

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yep- overwelming wasn't it.

 

There were several check engine lights- but that is mostly due to folks wanting to put a $1.79 fuel in whatever they had hoping they could get away with it. You saw how the pumps are marked- they knew what they were doing.

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Hi 1outlaw, I suspicioned it might be you when Dan M mentioned Utica. :) The E-85 coordinator in my area(NW Iowa) told me DNR was the bottleneck and gave me a number to call last fall I believe. When talking to the guy in Des Moines, I told him of my experience running 50/50 blends in unmodified vehicles for several years and a jar test with rubber and aluminum parts from my Cessna in E-85 with no problems. He said, until it's UL approved no dice. I suggested he do some testing for his own info and was told"we don't do testing". Anyway, as far as I'm concerned, you guys at Utica have been doing real world testing. UL is headquartered at Northbrook IL(not far from you). Is there anyway you could take your oldest pump down and say "here it is"? Is there any other lab that could check it out and influence UL into making an approval?

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Underwriters Laboratories Announces Advancement Toward Developing E85 Dispenser Safety Requirements

 

NORTHBROOK, IL -- (MARKET WIRE) -- November 06, 2006 -- Underwriters Laboratories Inc. (UL) reported advancement today toward developing safety requirements for E85 ethanol dispensers following a two-day forum at its global headquarters Nov. 1-2.

 

The technical forum, co-sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), featured 32 national experts discussing E85 fuel-dispensing system materials and the development of safety standards for E85 dispensers. Participants included automobile and petroleum company representatives, ethanol producers, dispenser and component manufacturers, industry associations, government agencies and researchers.

 

UL, North America's leading safety testing and certification organization, said additional technical data is necessary from forum participants to assist in the standards development process. Forum participants agreed to provide UL with requested technical data no later than Nov. 15.

 

UL's engineers will review all data collected and make a determination whether the technical information is sufficient for UL to draft test program requirements for E85 dispensers. Once the safety requirements are finalized, UL will immediately accept E85 dispenser investigations. UL would then propose the requirements for formal adoption through its normal standards development processes.

 

If the requested data is not made available by Nov. 15 or the data provided is found to be insufficient, UL will need to undertake additional research prior to revising the safety requirements.

 

"Our common goal was an efficient and effective delivery of the product in as safe an environment as possible. It is obvious that everyone has a wealth of information to share and consensus on a standard will be achieved in the spirit of cooperation," said John J. Fennell Jr., general counsel, Illinois Office of State Fire Marshall (IOSFM). "We are grateful to UL for making the forum possible and to the participants for their commitment to the common goal."

 

The DOE said that in parts of the nation where E85 dispensers are located, state policymakers have already issued statements that allow dispensers to continue to be used, even as safety requirements are being established.

 

"The technical forum co-hosted by UL and the Department of Energy has been very productive. Technical experts and scientists from across government and industry came together for the first time to discuss best practices and recommended safety procedures related to E85 dispensing," said Dennis Smith, technology development manager for the DOE. "Our next step is to continue working together to provide UL with the data it needs to develop safety requirements for E85 dispensing systems."

 

On Oct. 23, UL distributed a communication to Authorities Having Jurisdiction (AHJs) explaining that it had suspended authorization of E85 dispenser components and that it would be updating its requirements. The primary concern addressed in UL's communication with the AHJ community was any potential material compatibility issues, specifically corrosive effects that E85 may have on dispenser components. To date, UL has not certified any motor fuel dispensers for use with E85.

 

"For more than 112 years UL has been developing safety standards and testing products to help bring safer products to the marketplace," said John Drengenberg, UL's manager of consumer affairs. "E85 dispensing systems are no different, and UL is committed to appropriate, effective and timely safety standards."

 

About UL

 

Underwriters Laboratories Inc. (UL) is an independent, not-for-profit product safety certification organization that has been testing products and writing Standards for Safety for more than 110 years. UL tests more than 19,000 types of products annually, and more then 20 billion UL Marks appear on products each year. Worldwide, UL's family of companies and its network of service providers include 62 laboratories, and testing and certification facilities. For more information, visit http://www.ul.com/.

 

 

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Cessna- I would love to take them a dispenser but at $25,000 each plus about $5,000 to remove, replace with a new one and transport to IL- I cannot spare one. I do not have the time either to dance w/ them though I would love to. I have pulled fuel samples and tested for metals to make sure degredation was not occuring- they were fine so I am not afraid of the issue until UL rules. My only fear is that oil companies do not want blenders for e85 because they potentially lose control- thus UL does not have pressure to study blend valves for approvals.

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1outlaw, Thanks for responding. If you had some financial assistance from some other ethanol plants, would you consider tackling UL and big oil? One of the plants I invested in just posted a 200% return on investment and $1.80 was their highest netback per gallon shipped.

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