Author Topic: Negative effects of ethanol  (Read 5965 times)

Online bikerbob

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Negative effects of ethanol
« on: 06.02. 2011 17:45 »
Hi there
Have been doing some research on this topic and I am now quite worried to the extent that I went to see my local MP about it who was very sympathetic and promised to write to the Minister  of Transport about it.
So what am I worried about, well I have 2 bikes both with petsealed tanks which as you may already know will be dissolved by Ethanol it also dissolves some fibreglass tanks. I have found that some people have already had disastrous problems such as carb throttle valve seizing  inlet valves seizing to the extent that the push rods bent needing a complete strip down of the cylinder head and a lot of work to rectify. Now you might think that okay I don't have a sealed tank or a fibre glass tank so I will be okay. Wrong there is alist materials that are not recommened for use with EthanolI will give you some. Zinc, Brass, Copper, Aluminium, Lead/Tin Viton, Neoprene, Nylon 66, Cork. Now while the effects on some tank sealants and some fibreglass tanks is immediate the possible longer term effects on these other materials I cannot find an answer to.  Bear in mind that our carbs have Zinc bodies brass jets copper floats that are soldered and cork seals in the petrol taps. I have asked my MP to try to get it made compulsory for all fuel stations label all pumps with the level of Ethanol, to delay any further implementation of Ethanol until more research is done into the negative effects and a major publicity campaign to make the public aware of the dangers to some vehicles. It does not bear thinking about if you are riding your bike and your carb throttle valve sticks because of Ethanol dissolving the sealant in your tank. GO to www.fbhvc.co.uk and in the information panel click on Bio-fuels and read the article.

Offline Goldy

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Re: NEGATIVE EFFECTS OF ETHANOL
« Reply #1 on: 06.02. 2011 18:45 »
Well done I have been meaning to look into this for some time but have not got round to it. As you say it,s more concerning than was at first thought.
56 A10 Golden Flash - Restore, ride, relive.                                          
56 C12 BSA project ongoing

Online lawnmowerman

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Re: NEGATIVE EFFECTS OF ETHANOL
« Reply #2 on: 06.02. 2011 18:57 »
Well done Bob - I think that we all need to write to our MPs about this. I am experiencing no end of problems due to dissolved petseal and dissolved rubbers in the fuel taps.
I am currently running on Avgas which is ethanol-free but is illegal for road use and costs me £2.00 per litre.
I am sure that we can still meet our carbon and lead targets if leaded ethanol free petrol was still available at the pumps for historic vehicles - possibly a permit could be issued. Historic vehicles must be an insignificant proportion of the total vehicle population. Modern vehicles are designed for ethanol unleaded and if leaded ethanol free was priced accordingly there there would be no incentive for modern car drivers to use it.
My other worry is my 1938 Wolseley car. I have already fitted and unleaded head, replaced the fuel lines and pump and the brass floats in the carbs - seems strange that they have lasted 73 years and suddenly developed holes in them when ethanol was introduced resulting in flooding and fuel cascading over a hot engine. I suppose the next thing is that the fuel tank will start leaking and I will have to get a stainless one made.  *rant*

Jim
1959 A10 SR
1938 Wolseley 14/60
1955 Ferguson TEF20 tractor
1965 Ferguson 135 tractor
1952 Matchless G80 rigid
1960 BMW R60
1954 Matchless G80S
1955 Ariel 500 VH
1951 Sunbeam S7DL
1960 Matchless G12 with Watsonian Monza
......and loads of lawnmowers

Too old to Rock and Roll but too young to die  (Jethro Tull 1976)

Online lawnmowerman

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Re: NEGATIVE EFFECTS OF ETHANOL
« Reply #3 on: 06.02. 2011 19:13 »
This may be a way ahead;

"As stated in Parliament by the Leader of the House of Commons, Sir George Young, on 2 December 2010, online petitions to the Coalition Government will be moving to DirectGov in 2011.

In line with the commitments in the Programme for Government published in May 2010, e-petitions that receive 100,000 signatures or more will be eligible for debate in Parliament.

Cabinet Office, Directgov and the Office of the Leader of the House of Commons are working together on the implementation of this system and further announcements will be made soon.

We continue to issue responses to petitions that had exceeded the 500-signature threshold as of 6 April 2010, when the e-petitions system was suspended ahead of the 2010 general election, and these can be viewed on the HMG e-petitions responses page."

Jim
1959 A10 SR
1938 Wolseley 14/60
1955 Ferguson TEF20 tractor
1965 Ferguson 135 tractor
1952 Matchless G80 rigid
1960 BMW R60
1954 Matchless G80S
1955 Ariel 500 VH
1951 Sunbeam S7DL
1960 Matchless G12 with Watsonian Monza
......and loads of lawnmowers

Too old to Rock and Roll but too young to die  (Jethro Tull 1976)

Offline alanp

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Re: NEGATIVE EFFECTS OF ETHANOL
« Reply #4 on: 06.02. 2011 19:40 »
I hope I'm wrong but, nothing will be done until someone can show it is a danger for MODERN CAR drivers. We don't count. No one in authority has the guts to go against the 'we are all doomed global warming/climate change brigade'. Don't you just wish car fuel tanks were fibreglass? You wouldn't see Ethanol anywhere near petrol then. I expect this is all EU driven so don't hold your breath.
Meanwhile, we need to do whatever we can to help ourselves by replacing parts in contact with fuel with more resistant materials, whatever they may be. Replacing fuel taps with the brass taper body type to avoid rubber/cork seals is a start. The affect on brass is slow/minimal so an annual check and clean should be ok. Also drain out fuel from the tank and carbs if the bike isgoing to be laid up unused for say over a month. My fuel pipes seem to still flow ok but I would be interested in some genuine ethanol resistant pipes to be on the safe side if anyone knows a supplier. My plastic carb. float isn't distorted - yet.  
Whenever alternatives crop up we need to pass the word around.
Rant over.
Member of the 'Last of the Summer Wine Club - Jennycliff'.

Offline Goldy

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Re: NEGATIVE EFFECTS OF ETHANOL
« Reply #5 on: 06.02. 2011 20:53 »
I would not assume the old vehicle movement to be doomed. You may remember when in the uk we were given free (historic vehicle) road tax. The reason for this, was so that everyone would come forward with details of old vehicles stored in sheds and garages and the registration details would be entered on to the driver vehicle computer. Then when leaded fuel became unavailable in the year 2000,  all these old vehicles would be finished. The Governement would then have all the registration numbers ready for sale. But it did not happen, why, because the Government realised that the old vehicle movement employed thousands of people. You only have to look at the old bike mart newspaper which used to be one sheet and is now nearly 60 pages, full of people providing all types of old bike services. So don,t assume that the Governmet will be happy to see the back of us all, they won,t, so keep lobbying.
56 A10 Golden Flash - Restore, ride, relive.                                          
56 C12 BSA project ongoing

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Re: NEGATIVE EFFECTS OF ETHANOL
« Reply #6 on: 06.02. 2011 21:18 »
Call me Mr Cynical but I reckon if the "Elf an Safety" mob get a whiff of the fact that historic vehicle drivers are driving around in or on potential firebombs they will probably introduce a whole raft of new legislation, possibly part of the MOT, to introduce new inspection and certification to ensure that everything is upgraded to cope with ethanol attack.
Still - should create some new jobs for the boys  ;)

Jim
1959 A10 SR
1938 Wolseley 14/60
1955 Ferguson TEF20 tractor
1965 Ferguson 135 tractor
1952 Matchless G80 rigid
1960 BMW R60
1954 Matchless G80S
1955 Ariel 500 VH
1951 Sunbeam S7DL
1960 Matchless G12 with Watsonian Monza
......and loads of lawnmowers

Too old to Rock and Roll but too young to die  (Jethro Tull 1976)

Offline Goldseeker

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Re: NEGATIVE EFFECTS OF ETHANOL
« Reply #7 on: 07.02. 2011 12:40 »
I expect this is all EU driven so don't hold your breath.

In part, you are right but don?t underestimate the interests of the petrol supply industry, Ethanol diluted petrol becomes cheaper to supply with ever-larger dilution levels. That of course will not mean that the 'end price' will be any cheaper, just suppliers becoming richer.

I am convinced that this is more driven by greed than need simply because the EU directive 2009/30/EC does not specify the percentage of Ethanol content. It only specifies the MAXIMUM permissible content which suggests that so long as there is some Ethanol added, the directive is satisfied.

There is a 54-page report, Qinetiq/10/02471, that states that the majority of vehicles 10 years and older will NOT be compatible with E10 fuel (10% Ethanol) due to fuel system materials incompatibility.
That is a huge proportion of vehicles currently on British streets, possibly as many as 9 million! according to the report. Personally, I think it could be many more.
Newer SIDI (spark-ignition direct-injection) vehicles will also be affected. Then there are the millions of petrol powered industrial, amenity and garden machines most with carburetters, this problem has enormous consequences.

(Information extracted from an article in the VMCC Journal)
Col.

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Online bikerbob

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Re: NEGATIVE EFFECTS OF ETHANOL
« Reply #8 on: 07.02. 2011 15:45 »
Hi there
Thanks for the quick responses. I will tell you what I told my MP which is I do not think we as a minority group we will be able to stop Ethanol being introduced because it is a European Directive and once they get involved well the UK government has their hands tied. But what we have to concentrate on is the real damage that can occurr, also the real risks to riders as I have already stated it has already happened about carb seizures and fuel tank leaks. This problem can only get worse as the biking season approaches how many riders out there do not know of the risks, I had never known until last December until I read the article in the Bsa club magazine  about the damge caused to a members A10 RGS replica a  bike he had obviously spent a vast amount of money on the restoration getting his engine done professionally only to find before he can get it on the road his carb seizes, his inlet valves seize in the guides causing the push rods to bend quite badly. Why should he have to pay and indeed why should anyone of us have to pay for damage to our bikes caused by something that we have had no control over or been informed of about the very real serious risks that could easily result in serious injury or worse. What I want is a delay in the introduction of Ethanol until more proper research is carried out Compulsory notices on all fuel pumps delivering Ethanol and major publicity campaign to make everyone more aware of the serious risks of Ethanol addition which can result in serious injury or worse. As for modern vehicles you may not be aware that Ducati Motorcycles are being sued in America because the fibreglass tanks on their new bikes is turning to jelly because of Ethanol and under their warranty they are replacing them with exactly the same tanks and it onl takes alittle over 2thousand miles for this to happen. Also their are alot of boats both here and America that have fibreglass tanks it seems that if the fibreglass is resin based then ETHanol has a detrimental effect but is okay if it is plastic based but how would you know.

Offline brackenfel

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Re: NEGATIVE EFFECTS OF ETHANOL
« Reply #9 on: 07.02. 2011 17:50 »
Let's get the pumps labled with the ethanol content first.. In this way we can minimise the potential damage by choosing the lowest levels available in our area.

If our bikes are still affected then we can provide evidence that we purchased fuel from a given supplier with a given ethanol content which resulted in damage being caused.. Maybe then the FBHVC or a similar lobby group could sponsor a test case (or maybe a number of coordinated cases) to try the principle of suing for damages.. Faced with potentially successful law suits from a wide variety of consumer groups the suppliers may respond more quickly....
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Online bikerbob

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Re: NEGATIVE EFFECTS OF ETHANOL
« Reply #10 on: 11.02. 2011 16:23 »
Hi there
Just an update I have today recieved a letter from my MP in which he says he has forwarded my letter of concern to the minister the Rt.Hon Philip Hammond MP and will contact me again when he recieves a reply. So hopefully something will get done. I did visit my MP and gave him my letter, he was very sympathetic having in his youth owned 2 BSA,s aC11g and a C15 and having an engineering background he understood the carb and engine problems.

Online bikerbob

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Re: NEGATIVE EFFECTS OF ETHANOL
« Reply #11 on: 28.02. 2011 18:37 »
Hi there. just an update.
 In the March copy of the BSA magazine there is an update which does not make good reading. A report commissioned from QinetiQ ( a provider of technical advice to customers such as Government orginisations) by the Ministry of Transport was published in January. Briefly it found that the majority of vehicles 10years or older will not be compatible with E10 due to fuel system material incompatibilty issues. ( fuel containing 10% ethanol).
 Carburettor vehicles and powered two wheelers will suffer problems due to material incompatibilty,corrosion and drivability issues also it goes on to say that fibre glass tanks may suffer failure due to incompatibility of the glass fibre resin with Ethanol petrol blends.
 It recommends that vehicles 10 years or older, carburettored  vehicles and first generation direct spark ignition vehicles  should not be fuelled on E10 (10% ethanol) unless manufactures state otherwise. The present 5% ethanol content should not phased out in 2013 it's widespread availibility should continue for the foreseeable future and consideration should be given E0 (no ethanol) fuel for historic and vintage vehicles.
Partly as a result of this report, the FBHVC have concluded from a lengthy legislation document, that fuel with 5% ethanol will be around until 2015, with the suggestion of low ethanol fuel for historic vehicles. Before the report was published the Department of Transport 's position was that the phasing out of E5% fuel after 2013 to be replaced by E10% was a firm one.
 So it does not look very good for the future already there are problems with the 5% never mind increasing it to 10%.

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Re: NEGATIVE EFFECTS OF ETHANOL
« Reply #12 on: 28.02. 2011 19:10 »
G'day Bob,
              at least they are aware of the problem, that's a start. Is ALL your petrol E5 up there? Down here we started with E10 but 95 and 98 octane is ethanol free.
 Our new Holden's (your Vauxhall's) can run on E85 as well as petrol.
Cheers.
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Online bikerbob

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Re: NEGATIVE EFFECTS OF ETHANOL
« Reply #13 on: 28.02. 2011 19:55 »
That is the problem it is supposed to be, but there is no label on the pumps to let you know so you have to find out the hard way I would reckon that when the better weather comes some people are in for a shock as there has not been any publicity to let people know the possible problems that they might face.

Online chaterlea25

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Re: NEGATIVE EFFECTS OF ETHANOL
« Reply #14 on: 28.02. 2011 20:20 »
HI All,
I wonder how much ethanol it takes to have the effect that happened to me the other day?
I was washing out an oil tank with some ""petrol"
I tipped the tank contents into an oildrain tray which had some some oil in the bottom, I had cut the top from a 25 litre drum to make a bin and drained the remains of the oil into the tray, there may have been some water contamination in the tray???
Later  when I happened to look at the tray contents it had turned into a creamy emulsion???
This would suggest quite a high ethanol content????
Of course the bastards here dont tell us what % ethanol is in the only grade of unleaded thats available????

Regards
John O R
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1963 RGS (ongoing)