Underwriters Laboratories (UL) has announced the establishment of safety requirements for E85 fuel dispensing equipment and is now ready to start certification investigations, according to a UL news release.
The establishment of safety requirements follows the completion of UL’s comprehensive research program to investigate potential safety concerns associated with dispensing highly concentrated ethanol-blended fuels. The research included extensive gathering of technical data, field studies of existing E85 installations in the U.S. and Brazil, analysis of material compatibility for dispenser components, and a co-sponsored technical forum with the United States Department of Energy (DOE) that brought together 32 national experts from automobile and petroleum companies, ethanol producers, dispenser and component manufacturers, industry associations, government agencies and university researchers.
The Ethanol Promotion and Information Council (EPIC) welcomed the news, calling it “a major victory for the ethanol industry and efforts to expand availability of E85 and increase demand for this renewable fuel.”
EPIC Director of Operations Robert White says the announcement removes a major barrier to many companies that have been waiting to offer E85 at their fueling stations. “Pump equipment manufacturers are standing by at the ready and will submit their dispenser for approval very soon,” said White. “UL’s efforts to complete their evaluations and develop the safety requirements for E85 dispensing equipment in just under a year are tremendous, and this development will move the ethanol industry to the next plateau in helping improve air quality and reduce dependence on foreign fuels.”
Currently there are more than 1,300 E85 fueling stations open across the United States. With UL’s announcement, projections are that number will double in the coming year.