The following is republished from the Urban Air Initiative. See the original here.
of the great misconceptions following ethanol is that it causes
compatibility issues in certain engines. But new data shows that the
opposite is true, and ethanol-free gasoline blends actually increase
much of the wear and tear on hoses, seals, and fuel tanks.
is the finding of new research released today by ICM, Inc. and the
Urban Air Initiative (UAI). The findings were presented at the
semi-annual meeting of ASTM, an international standards organization
that develops and publishes technical standards. Steve VanderGriend of
ICM and technical director for UAI presented data showing how the high
aromatic content of gasoline, particularly toxic aromatics like benzene
and toluene negatively impacts engine parts. The toxic aromatics create a
significant increase in the escape of harmful emissions that can have a
devastating impact on public health given that these aromatic compounds
are known and suspected carcinogens.
“What we are
seeing is that benzene and toluene are increasing permeation, which
means increasing the amount of fuel vapors that seep from a vehicle.
For anyone who has a garage at home and smells gasoline, vapors are
escaping through the vehicles fuel system or small engine gas tank”,
said Mr. VanderGriend.
Ethanol is often blamed for
increasing evaporative emissions. However, the ICM and Urban Air
Initiative research clearly shows increased aromatics cause a greater
degradation on hoses, plastics, and other components which creates an
escape route for gasoline vapors to permeate into the air.
his presentation at ASTM, VanderGriend explained the extensive testing
done on fuel lines, gas containers, and plastic components. These
materials were each soaked in straight gasoline (E0) and a 10% ethanol
blend (E10) for extended periods of time. In every case the ethanol free
gasoline increased the damage to fuel lines, gas containers, and
plastic components, while the materials soaked in E10 were impacted
To better visualize the damaging effects of
straight gasoline, click here to watch a time lapse video involving a
simple Styrofoam cup. The E10 blend contained 20% aromatics and had a
slower impact on the cup. The E0 blend, with 26% aromatics, instantly
destroyed the cup. While not as scientific as soak testing, the results
“The notion that somehow ethanol free
gasoline is superior product could not be further from the truth”, said
Mr. VanderGriend. “In our home town of Wichita, the average E0 has 46%
more benzene and toluene by volume than the same 87 octane blend with
ethanol. The fuel costs more and presents a mechanical and health risk
that is incorrectly being attributed to ethanol”.
went on to explain that ethanol, with the highest octane value of any
fuel additive on the market today, could not only continue to replace
aromatics like benzene and toluene in today’s gasoline but it will be
critical as future vehicle designs will require higher octane to meet
mileage and emission standards.
Mr. VanderGriend called
on the ASTM to establish a task force to define maximum levels of
aromatics in gasoline and to establish standards for the use of toluene
as a blend component. ASTM agreed to begin a task force to begin
monitoring aromatic levels in gasoline.
For more information on the work of the Urban Air Initiative, visit www.urbanairinitiative.com and www.fixourfuel.com.