News & Insights

What to Know About Ethanol Storage

January 22, 2015 | Posted in Blog

Ethanol is becoming more and more popular as an alternative fuel. Ethanol is usually made from corn or sugar cane, but can also be produced using other natural biomass such as grass or wood. It is then blended with gasoline to produce what’s known as a blended fuel. E85, E87, and E10 are all blends of ethanol and gasoline. The renewable nature of its production source combined with ethanol’s clean-burning and biodegradable properties have helped it to catch on recently, and vehicle manufacturers are responding with more and more vehicles that have the ability to run on ethanol blended fuel.

Fuel station owners looking to add ethanol blends should know that there are special requirements for the storage of ethanol fuel. Ethanol is corrosive and may require new equipment to be properly and safely stored. Learn more about ethanol storage below.

What to Know About Ethanol Storage

  • Ethanol will corrode a number of metals. These include aluminum, zinc, and copper.
  • Ethanol can also have adverse effects on polymers, rubber, elastomers, and glues and sealants that use a dissolved alcohol base.
  • If you are emptying an existing storage tank for future use as an ethanol fuel storage tank, it needs to be properly cleaned and prepared before ethanol fuel is introduced. All water should be removed from the tank.
  • If ethanol is introduced into a tank that is already experiencing corrosion, it will make this problem worse.
  • The best tank for E85 storage is double-walled steel or UL-listed fiberglass storage tank.
  • Petroleum probes do not read ethanol blends, which means alternative fuel probes will need to be used.
  • Proactive and frequent inspection of tanks, pipes, hoses and other dispensing-related equipment is the best way to catch any corrosion early on.

Tanks Direct offers installation of aboveground and below ground storage tanks for ethanol blends such as E85 as well as other biodiesel fuels. In addition to tanks, we offer complete alternative fuel systems, specifically designed with the storage and dispensing requirements of ethanol and biodiesel in mind. For more information on ethanol storage and storage tanks, please contact us today.

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