Wisconsin Department of Commerce Newsletter
February 2007
Small Gasoline Engine Owners Cautioned on Use of E-85

Owners of small gasoline engines should fill fuel tanks from dispensers offering separate hoses for gasoline and ethanol-85 (E-85) products, Department of Commerce (Commerce) Secretary Mary P. Burke announced today.

"We encourage the use of E-85 in flexible fuel vehicles because it can create markets for corn and ethanol and help reduce the nation’s purchases of oil from other countries," said Secretary Burke. "We also want to caution consumers that E-85 should be used only in engines designed to operate on this fuel."

Commerce is revising Ch. COMM 10, the department's administrative code regulating the storage and dispensing of flammable and combustible products. The revision will include a requirement that E-85 be dispensed from a dedicated hose, as is the case with diesel fuel.

If E-85 and gasoline are dispensed from same hose, a small portion of E-85 residue can enter the gasoline tank. The residue will likely not affect the operation of a gasoline-engine motor vehicle, but could cause problems in the operation of small engines. Small engines are not designed to run on E-85 or blended fuels with greater than 10% ethanol, and the E-85 residue would represent a larger portion of the fuel available in the tank. Commerce has consulted with the Wisconsin Small Engine Consortium and the faculty of the Engine Research Center at UW-Madison on this topic, and the consortium recommends that small engine owners avoid using blending dispensers offering both gasoline and E-85 products from the same hose.

-- Tony Hozeny

The newsletter is issued electronically every other month.

Please send comments or questions to Barbro McGinn, editor.

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