Thursday, April 10, 2008

Engines and Ethanol Fuel

Ethanol Fuel is causing big trouble for some boaters. According to the experts, E-10 fuel is raising all kinds of problems with marine engines and some fuel tanks.
First of all, as I understand it, Ethanol is a solvent and as such is dissolving the resin in some fiberglass fuel tanks, especially the ones made with polyester resin. In older boats, it will also dissolve any acumination of contaminates in the fuel tank and system and send the whole gooey mess through the system into the engine itself.
Most gasoline sold without Ethanol in it has a component called MBTE added to the base gasoline. Now if you mix Ethanol with MBTE, you create a gel-like substance that clogs up everything!
Also Ethanol attracts water. Ethanol can literally suck moisture in from the air to collect in your fuel tank. For all of you boaters with high performance boats, here is some disturbing news. When Ethanol mixes with water, it separates form the base gasoline product and can lower a 93 octane fuel to an 89 octane fuel.

Here are few suggestions about what you can do.
1. Invest in some large filter/water separators and install them in my fuel line.
2. Buy a lot of replacement cartridges and change them early and often
3. Try to burn all of the remaining fuel with MBTE out of the tank before using the E-10 blend.
4. If your boat has fiberglass fuel tanks, consider replacing them with aluminum or plastic ones.