The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) is concerned about testing of the nation’s gasoline pumps currently underway by Underwriters Laboratory (UL) that is using what the group calls “aggressive ethanol” intended to accelerate any potential issues that may arise with the use of higher ethanol blends.
According to RFA, this “aggressive ethanol” misrepresents the fuel ethanol found in the market today. Many of compounds found in this grade of ethanol, such as gum, sulfates, and pHe, were well outside the range specified by ASTM, the international standards organization for fuels.
RFA Technical Director Kristy Moore has written to UL outlining the association’s concern with this process. “Ultimately, it is clear the ‘aggressive ethanol’ formula required by UL grossly misrepresents modern fuel ethanol and is far worse than even the lowest quality ethanol in commerce today,” she wrote. “It is safe to say ‘aggressive ethanol’ is not representative of any fuel ethanol that is found in the marketplace today. Automobile manufacturers themselves have confirmed that they no longer use ‘aggressive ethanol’ in testing. Rather, they prefer to use ethanol that is representative of the fuel in the marketplace.”
The RFA is urging UL to move forward with its testing using an ethanol formulation that more closely mimics those allowed in the marketplace.