Research and development efforts to get ethanol into the nation’s already-existing oil pipeline… a key issue into getting more ethanol into the nation’s gas tanks… took a step forward this week.
This story in Ethanol Producer Magazine says the Association of Oil Pipe Lines (AOPL) is expanding its ongoing research and development efforts to get past the technical barriers to pipeline transportation of ethanol:
APOL President Shirley Neff said the expansion in research and development has the support of the U.S. DOT’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.
One project being expedited by the new focus on ethanol research and development is testing the feasibility of transporting ethanol blends in existing pipeline infrastructure without significant modification. The low-level blends with gasoline will be tested to see if E10, E15 or E20 can be transported without causing stress corrosion cracking in the pipeline—one of the bigger hurdles associated with fuel ethanol. Initial test results are expected within 12 to 18 months.
The AOPL has also announced it will continue its study looking at the environmental and stress conditions that causes stress corrosion cracking. Researchers are looking at lessening that problem.