Ethanol/Diesel Blends: How likely? - SailNet Community

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Old 04-09-2010
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Ethanol/Diesel Blends: How likely?

Replacing the Diesel fuel tank on our PSC 37 I am debating between a welded Poly tank and an aluminum tank. If they ever add ethanol to diesel the poly tank will, I am told, leak like a proverbial sieve. Price is about the same.

Anyone out there have any idea how likely it is that ethanol will make its way into diesel fuel supply?

Jay

PSC 37, Kenlanu
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Old 04-10-2010
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I got the fiberglass tank and it's very well made.

I did some research before buying and concluded it's not very likely as there is too much risk to the infrastructure for diesel. If it does happen it would just be for fleet use after the risks were mitigated.

The major concern with the use of E-diesel derives from its flammability characteristics. E-diesel blends containing 10% to 15% ethanol have the vapor pressure and flammability limits of ethanol. This means that ethanol concentrations in enclosed spaces such as fuel storage and vehicle fuel tanks are flammable over the temperature range of 13 to 42įC, typical ambient temperatures. Thus, there are increased risks of fire and explosion compared to diesel fuel, or even gasoline.
Source of above... http://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy03osti/34817.pdf
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Old 04-10-2010
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Most gasoline tanks are polyethylene know...

Quote:
Originally Posted by BirdBrain333 View Post
Replacing the Diesel fuel tank on our PSC 37 I am debating between a welded Poly tank and an aluminum tank. If they ever add ethanol to diesel the poly tank will, I am told, leak like a proverbial sieve. Price is about the same.

Anyone out there have any idea how likely it is that ethanol will make its way into diesel fuel supply?

Jay

PSC 37, Kenlanu
... so what is the leak concern? I think you have been misled.

That said, adding ethanol to diesel is moronic on several levels, and the safety folks should prevail... I certainly hope!

That said, the EPA is looking at it, at some level.
Enhanced Ethanol Diesel Blends for Emission Reduction| Research Project Database | NCER | ORD | US EPA

7.5 - 15% (the levels normally discussed) will be enough to make diesel flammable, though in a different way from gasoline. Curiously, it may be safer in one sense to be at the higher end of this range, as 3-7% mixtures carry a risk of tank explosions, as the tank would be in the combustible range (diesel is below the range, gasoline is above the range).
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Old 04-11-2010
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Thanks, Steve, and Drew, for the insights and for the links to some good reading. Based on everything I have read I think we are going to plastic.

Thanks again, Jay

PSC 37 # 171, Kenlanu
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