Lotus Elan

Ethanol free fuel

PostPost by: William2 » Wed Mar 14, 2018 9:53 am

I had been regularly using ethanol free BP Super Unleaded from my local garage. Sadly this recently closed and was taken over by Esso. Having done some research it turns out that Esso Supreme 97 is also free of ethanol where I live in the southeast of the UK. Good news.
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PostPost by: Chris » Wed Mar 14, 2018 1:21 pm

Having spent considerable time trying to locate ethanol free fuel for aviation use, and having contacted all the major fuel suppliers B.P, Esso, Shell etc: I was informed, by those who could be bothered to reply, that ethanol was present in all UK road fuel whether it be 95 octane or super. I therefore took samples from several filling stations in my area, North West. My findings were that all road fuels from all the suppliers I tested did indeed contain ethanol.
My tests were conducted in 2015 and showed varying amounts of ethanol content between 3% and 6% also in the case of tests on the B.P samples, the super grade sample contained slightly more ethanol than the 95 octane. During my researches I discovered that only one fuel company, Total, produced a completely ethanol fuel, called UL91 but this is only available at selected airports and for aviation use only. As far as I am concerned all UK road fuels must be suspected of containing ethanol and to that end I have changed all my aircraft fuel lines and rubbers to J30R standard which are Fluoroelastomer/nitrile rubber and completely ethanol proof. My Lotus is still in its carcoon, but I intend replacing the rubber lines come spring.

My tests were correct in 2015 perhaps ethanol amounts have changed since then, but I doubt it.
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PostPost by: MarkDa » Thu Mar 15, 2018 12:55 am

According to Esso all lower octane fuel in the UK MUST contain ethanol but their 97 grade generally doesn't and they list exceptions

https://www.esso.co.uk/fuels-faqs

I expect others are much the same given the way the refineries operate regionally.

So if you don't want ethanol dont use low octane fuel. But usimg higher octane isn't a guarantee of no ethanol.
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PostPost by: William2 » Thu Mar 15, 2018 11:20 am

That's the Esso web page that I got my info from. Assuming it is true then Chris's statement is incorrect.
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PostPost by: RogerFrench » Thu Mar 15, 2018 12:19 pm

We have had 10% ethanol in Texas for years now. Change a few rubber lines and you're good to go.
If you leave fuel in a tank for extended periods, use a stabilizer to help prevent water absorption.
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PostPost by: Chris » Thu Mar 15, 2018 5:19 pm

Further to my post regarding the bio fuel quantity in super unleaded fuels, and the reply by William 2 suggesting my findings were incorrect, I suggest he reads the esso leaflet more carefully. It clearly stated that there was no requirement for ethanol in super unleaded fuels, there was no sweeping statement that ethanol was absent, it went on to say ethanol is present in super fuels purchased in Devon, Cornwall, Teesside, and Scotland. So I am not incorrect, as I clearly stated that my tests were carried out on fuel samples in the North West and all contained ethanol. So it is a post code lottery whether you get ethanol or not. Fill up with bio free fuel wherever you can, but if you come to Cumbria you get ethanol.
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PostPost by: nomad » Fri Mar 16, 2018 6:54 am

Agree with Roger.....we've been running it for years and its no big deal. Don't know the cost of the alcohol in the UK or if its imported already blended but alcohol content over here is likely a lot higher than advertised. The alcohol is traded on the Board of Trade and usually is around $1.00 US per gallon while the gasoline retails for about $2.50 right now. If the blending isn't watched too closely what would you expect would happen! That is from a fellow in the business.

Alcohol raises the octane and, over here, replaced a know carcinogen the petroleum industry was using to replace tetra ethyl lead.

Before we had alcohol Prohibition grain alcohol competed with gasoline pretty well for a motor fuel. Some claim the major instigator of the 18th Amendment [Prohibition] was the petroleum industry.

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