September 09, 2008

Ethanol's Use In Boats

There have been quite a few articles in the news lately about ethanol's use in boats. Most of the articles go through all the potential problems that some boats owners could have using ethanol and give the impression that anyone with a boat should be wary of ethanol blended fuel.

I must admit that although my parents had a couple of boats during the time I growing up, I got my fill of boats a long time ago. I haven't had any real experience with boats in many years, so I haven't really had any first hand experience to contribute on this issue.

But there was a piece of information in an article today that I thought was pretty interesting.

While this organization recognizes that older boats may "experience significant difficulties with E10 ethanol," it says these difficulties "affect less than 1 percent of the 13 million registered boat owners in this country."

You can decide for yourself whether or not all the hype that issue has received is fair for an issue that won't effect 99% of boaters.

Source : Does ethanol-based gas demand a boat upgrade?


Anonymous said...

I guess that water absorption could be a problem for ethanol.

Michael A. Gregory said...

The opponents of ethanol always put up this argument and try to make people believe that ethanol has such an affinity for water that it will suck water out of the air to the point that it phase separates. While it is possible, it is highly unlikely to happen because it would require a lot of time. Here is quote from an EPA report on phase separation in oxygenated fuels.

"For example, at a constant temperature of 100 degrees F and relative humidity of 100%, it would take well over 200 days to saturate one gallon of gasoline in an open gasoline can (assuming the only source of water is water vapor from the air). Water absorption from the air is far slower at lower temperatures and humidities. (At a temperature of 70 degrees and relative humidity of 70%, it would take over two years to saturate one gallon of conventional gasoline in the same gasoline can.) Again, oxygenated gasolines can hold more water than conventional gasoline, and would therefore take much longer to saturate with water."

Water Phase Separation in Oxygenated Gasoline

Post a Comment