Fuel Dispenser Components containing Ethanol & Other Alcohol Blended Fuels
As of October 5, 2006, Underwriters Laboratories Inc. has suspended 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 (i.e. ethanol, methanol or other alcohols). Dispenser components as they relate to use with traditional fuel blends (i.e., blended fuels containing 15% or less alcohols) are unaffected. In all cases, acceptability of fuel dispensers for using alcohol-blended fuels containing greater than 15% alcohol (e.g., E-85) remains at the discretion of the Authority Having Jurisdiction.
Research indicates that the presence of high concentrations of Ethanol or other alcohols within blended fuels makes these fuels significantly more corrosive. This may result in the fuel chemically attacking the materials used in fuel dispenser components, and may ultimately degrade the dispenserís ability to contain the fuel. While UL has no evidence of field issues related to this application, we are suspending authorization to use the UL Mark on components used in dispensing devices that will dispense any alcohol blended fuels containing over 15% alcohol until updated certification requirements are established and the effected components have been found to comply with them.
Our engineers are actively reviewing current E-85 research and meeting with industry and government experts to gather the information required to draft the revised certification requirements. UL anticipates that testing of E-85 dispenser components will commence immediately following publication of UL's E-85 certification requirements, as they pertain to the use of these higher alcohol blended fuels on dispenser a system. We remain committed to undertaking in an expeditious manner the thorough and broad based effort necessary to develop the appropriate requirements that will adequately address E-85 compatibility.
We are here to answer any questions you may have and will respond promptly to your inquires. For comments or questions, please contact us at UL.Notification@us.ul.com.
Additional Information on Authorization Suspension of Dispenser Components for use with E-85
On October 5, 2006, Underwriters Laboratories suspended authorization for manufacturers 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 (i.e. ethanol, methanol or other alcohols). For your reference, the complete October 5th announcement is available at http://www.ul.com/gasandoil/ethanol.html).
The following provides background information and answers to commonly asked questions related to our recent suspension. We hope this is of use in making acceptance decisions of ethanol fuel dispensing installations in your jurisdiction.
No Existing Safety Requirements for E-85 Dispensers
UL Standard 87 includes safety requirements for power-operated dispensing devices for petroleum products, such as gasoline for use as motor fuel. This Standard does not address safety requirements for using alternative fuels, such as E-85, within those dispensers. Published studies on ethanol indicate that-in high concentrations-it may have significantly enhanced corrosive effects versus traditional gasoline. Prior to testing and potentially certifying E-85 rated dispensers, UL must establish the appropriate safety requirements, taking into consideration relevant technical issues such as material compatibility unique to these products.
No Reported Safety Incidents for UL Listed or Recognized Sub-Assemblies with E-85
The need to establish consistent and appropriate safety requirements for E-85 dispensers and components was the impetus for suspending authorization to use UL Markings (Listing or Recognition) on components for fuel dispensing devices using E-85. UL has never certified a dispenser for use with E-85. An E-85 dispenser manufacturer approached UL in May 2006 with the first request for a certification of an E-85 dispenser. UL quickly identified the need to establish safety requirements for E-85 dispenser products prior to certification so any material compatibility issues could be addressed. The decision to suspend authorization for components quickly followed, so the new requirements could be applied consistently across all related products (i.e., dispensers and components). To date there have been:
Timing Associated with the Development of Safety Requirements
Our technical experts are currently reviewing research to verify material compatibility with E-85. We will co-sponsor an E-85 Compatibility Technical Forum on November 1-2, 2006 with the US Department of Energy to obtain additional advice pursuant to UL establishing performance criteria and offering a Listing program for E-85 dispensers. Timing associated with development of the requirements depends upon the availability of material compatibility research gathered before and during the forum. We will provide an update shortly after the forum concludes.
Please view a list of Commonly Asked Questions.
While there have been no reported safety issues related to UL Listed or Recognized components used with E-85, UL remains committed to developing the appropriate safety requirements that will adequately address safety concerns. If you have questions or concerns, please feel free to contact one of the following staff members.
If you have an immediate question or need assistance, please contact Regulatory Services