Ethanol is created when crops such as sugar-cane, maize, sorghum, wheat and other grains, or even cornstalks, fruit and vegetable waste is fermented and distilled. Ethanol blends dramatically reduce emissions of hydrocarbons.
With the introduction of Ethanol in our gasoline came a boat load of problems so speak. The affects of Ethanol was never properly tested before its introduction thus leaving many in various industries to foot an ongoing, unnecessary and most of the time very expensive bill. Even some aircraft using automotive based gasoline was affected.
Since the introduction of Ethanol, the problems with gasoline are slightly different, but nevertheless just as alarming. Ethanol is very hygroscopic and will absorb moisture from the atmosphere directly into the fuel molecules. Water found in gasoline sinks to the bottom of the tank.
For both retailer and end user, this is a very serious problem, but more so for the end user because it is the end user that most of the time has to foot the bill for expensive fuel system and engine related repairs.
Ethanol cause fuel injector problems
When gasoline containing Ethanol comes in contact with water, either liquid or in the form of humidity; the Ethanol will pick-up and absorb some or all of that water. When it reaches a saturation point the Ethanol and water will Phase Separate.
Phase separation is when the water content in the fuel tank builds up to a level where separation of the ethanol and gasoline takes place. Reports have suggested that a fuel tank content of just 0.35% of water will lead to phase separation.
What you are left with then is a layer of water on the bottom of the tank, above it will be the layer of ethanol and above that will be the remainder of the unleaded gasoline. This fuel is deemed useless and corrosive, and if used will cause havoc in fuel injection systems. Clogged and especial sticky fuel injectors is but some of the related problems.
No where is this more prevalent than in the marine industry where thousands of dollars are spent to rebuild engines and replace fuel related components such as fuel pumps and fuel injectors.
It is therefore a good idea to manage fuel as closely as possible. Try to ensure that fuel tanks are empty when the boat, Jet Ski or related water based gasoline engine driven equipment are stored for periods of time. This is also true for some aircraft, especially those using automotive gasoline blends.
Fuel injector maintenance
Fuel injector maintenance such as fuel injector cleaning and flow testing should be done on a regular bases. It is also recommended that HPDI pumps are properly cleaned and serviced on a regular bases because the fuel that cause dirty injectors or clogged injectors are pumped through these very expensive and sensitive fuel pumps.
Using gasoline as a fleet operator or for your family car, classic car, boat, personal water-craft, motorcycle, ATV, snowmobile, RV, lawnmower, weed-whacker, generator, or any of the thousands of other types of equipment that use gasoline engines; you are being affected by Bio-Ethanol in your fuel.