UL Still Dithering on E85 Fueling Gear
11 December 2006
In October 2006, Underwriters Laboratories suspended the authorization to use UL Markings (Listing or Recognition) on components for fuel dispensing devices that specifically reference compatibility with alcohol-blended fuels that contain greater than 15% alcohol—e.g., E85. (Earlier post.)
After a set of technical meetings in November, UL is still unable to establish a list of generically acceptable metals or non-metals for use in E85 fueling systems.
Based on the information and technical data received to date, a list of generically acceptable metals or non-metals for use in E85 environments cannot be established at this time. UL anticipates that testing will be necessary to determine suitability for use. UL is acting on the information that had been identified during and after the Technical Forum, and reviewing additional actions that may be necessary, to establish appropriate testing protocols and certification requirements for E85 dispensers.—UL update, 6 December 2006
Phil Lampert, Executive Director of the National Ethanol Vehicle Coalition, is becoming decreasingly optimistic about a rapid resolution to the situation.
Our concern is that there is not one molecule of evidence that the use of E85 in existing dispensers has resulted in failure of the equipment. It is becoming apparent that the development of a testing protocol and subsequent equipment certifications may require a period of many months. The E85 industry is on the verge of tremendous growth and a long delay to develop a certification process would be extremely damaging.
Our efforts with UL are now being focused on the establishment of interim guidance documents so that “authorities having jurisdiction” can use their own judgment to determine if E85 systems are causing a potential hazard. We obviously do not believe there is any hazard associated with the dispensing of E85.—Phil Lampert, NEVC
To date, UL has not certified any motor fuel dispensers for use with E85.
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