Ethanol in UK Fuel Can Be Damaging to Marine Outboard Engines

Posted by anglesey marine supplies on Wednesday, February 29, 2012

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Ethanol is to Petrol (gasoline in USA) what biodiesel is to diesel with both Ethanol and Biodiesel being referred to as biofuels. Ethanol (an alcohol) is primarily made from corn grain starch. When added to petrol it reduces toxic emissions and increases the octane of the fuel and so it can be compressed more before it spontaneously ignites - a good thing. At present many filling stations in the UK have 5-10% ethanol in their petrol, so you are probably using ethanol without realising it. This is called E5 (5% ethanol 95% petrol) or E10 (10% ethanol 90% petrol). A large UK Supermarket for example in conjunction with Greenenergy have been selling E5 petrol containing Brazilian sugar cane ethanol since 2005.

The Effects.

Gasoline with ethanol (corn alcohol) added is not recommended for older outboard motors. Boat engines manufactured since the late 1980s can handle ethanol better, but manufacturers don't recommend it, because ethanol can damage motor parts. The only way to avoid ethanol is to purchase certified ethanol-free fuel at a marina. This marine-grade fuel is more expensive, but the extra cost has to be weighed against the potential for costly engine repairs.

The Cause.

Gasoline with ethanol added seems to work well in automobiles, which burn through a tank of gas relatively quickly. Outboard motors tend to sit for extended periods of time. Under these conditions, ethanol will begin to separate from the gasoline and settle to the bottom of the fuel tank. If water is present, the ethanol will bind with the water to create a sludge-like deposit. This sludge is then drawn into the engine.


Safeguard™ Ethanol Fuel Conditioner ideal for Marine Engines, Outboards.

Lucas Safeguard™ Ethanol Fuel Conditioner with Stabilizers was developed to specifically address issues associated with using ethanol based fuels. This applies to E-10, E-15, E-85, pure ethanol and any mixtures in between including gasoline. Our Product is completely soluble in all ethanol fuels and will not harm filters. Lucas Safeguard™ Ethanol Fuel Conditioner with Stabilizers contains effective additives to prevent rust and corrosion associated with the use of ethanol fuels.

Safeguard™ Key Benefits:

• Cleans injectors, valve seats, combustion chambers and other critical fuel components

• Stabilizes fuel and prevents varnish & gum formation in ethanol and gasoline

• Combats deposits and protects your engine oil lubricants from the harmful effects of alcohol combustion.

Introductory Offer Price only £11.99 plus postage (treats 80 gallons)