News Channel 10 WHEC out of Rochester NY recently did a story on ethanol and how it affects lawn and garden equipment. Even though ethanol has been in our fuel for 20 + years, it had only been used in the northern states as a winter blend. When the positive environmental impact and reduction of imported oil had been realized, the use of ethanol blended fuel became the norm throughout the country.
People are becoming more aware of the negative effects of ethanol on fuel systems in equipment that sit for more than a few weeks at a time. Even if the blended fuel is not left sitting in the fuel system, the effects can still be harsh. Ethanol will suck the moisture out of anything it can. This not only includes the air but plastic and rubber parts as well. String trimmers are a perfect example. If your trimmer is more than a year old, look at the fuel lines. Chances are that they are hard, brittle, and possibly even cracked.
The report also talks about fuel versus feed. We have had a drought this past season which is the real reason the price of corn has gone up. Even with the drought, farmers have produced more than enough corn to satisfy all of our needs. If the corn earmarked for fuel were to be diverted to feed, the cost would only change approximately 1% (according to the EPA).
WHEC did a good job by interviewing an actual service technician and demonstrated the effects of ethanol. The technician showed what a clean carburetor should look like and what happens with gas and ethanol. We have discussed this in previous blogs and it is one of the main issues that B3C Fuel Solutions is fighting, phase separation. Once the ethanol reaches a (water) saturation point of .5%, the ethanol and water separates out from the gas and sits on the bottom of the tank or carburetor. This mixture becomes very corrosive and causes damage to the point that parts must be replaced which can be expensive.
The key to prevent this from happening is to always keep the fuel stabilized as one never knows how long a piece of equipment will sit not being used. Using the new Gasoline Tank Snake will ensure that any moisture that is in the gas or enters the fuel tank is absorbed. The Gasoline Tank Snake also releases a stabilizer and antioxidants to keep the fuel fresh for the next use. For optimal protection, use Ethanol Shield in the gas as well. This will provide the Gold Standard in fuel protection. Ethanol Shield will provide fuel stabilization for up to 3 years as well as provide protection against ethanol related issues.