The Expanding World of E85 Compatibility

By OPW | Apr 01, 2014

The Energy Policy Act (EPAct) of 1992 set goals and created mandates to increase clean energy use and improve the overall energy efficiency within the United States. Among these mandates was the promotion of utilizing ethanol to reduce the country’s reliance on foreign oil and improve air emissions.

71SOM-1 (2)Ethanol is currently sold in two main forms – E10 and E85. While E10 remains the most widely used form of ethanol, the use of E85, which is usually in concentrations of 75-85% ethanol and 25-15% unleaded gasoline, continues to rise. Due to this trend, many underground storage tanks (USTs) are currently being converted from gasoline/diesel fuel storage tanks to E85 storage tanks.

Due to phase separation (mixing with water), the storage and distribution of E85 can have a significant adverse effect on UST system components. When phase separation occurs, it causes two liquid layers to form in the tank. The lower layer contains water and ethanol while the upper layer is the petroleum fuel with a small amount of ethanol. Because this blend of ethanol and water increases the risk of corrosion, many traditional materials utilized in the past may not be compatible with E85. Avoid components made from zinc, brass, lead, aluminum, or other softer metals. The ethanol fuel may cause leaching from such soft metals, which may contaminate a vehicle’s fuel system and could result in poor vehicle performance. For this reason, it is extremely important to install only E85-compatible equipment when converting a UST for the storage of E85.

Realizing the importance of offering E85-compatible equipment, OPW has recently expanded its product offering of CARB/EVR approved Phase 1 Vapor Recovery E85 UST equipment. These products – which have all received Phase 1 Enhanced Vapor Recovery (EVR) System certification from the California Air Resource Board (CARB) for use with E85 – have been specifically designed to provide OPW customers with a comprehensive choice of UST equipment that eliminate the risks and material-compatibility concerns associated with E85. This includes the new 71SOM Overfill Prevention Valve, which provides a clean, fast and robustly designed system for long term vapor-tight performance in aggressive fuels. Specifically, the following OPW UST products have been approved for use with E85:

71SOM-412C Overfill Prevention Valve

61VSA-MA Vapor Recovery Swivel Adaptor

61SALP-MA Fill Swivel Adaptor

71JSK-44MA Jack Screw Kit

• 71JSK-4RMT Remote Fill Jack Screw Kit

•62M-MA Monitoring Cap

•61T-SS-0412/0417 Drop Tubes

•634TT-EVR & 634LPC Fill Caps

•FSA-400/400-S Face Seal Adaptors

•1711T-EVR and 1711LPC Vapor Recovery Caps

•233 Series Extractor Fittings

•EVR EDGE, EVR 1-2100's, and Multiport Systems (listed as 1 Series Thread On Spill Containers)

To learn more about OPW, contact your local OPW Sales Representative or OPW Distributor.