Alison Hathcock

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The New World of Alternative Fuels: 

1 The New World of Alternative Fuels Alison M. Hathcock Permitting Coordinator South Carolina UST Program

Alternative Fuel Overview: 

2 Alternative Fuel Overview Two main categories Ethanol Most common: E10 and E85 Concerns lie with ethanol blends greater than E10 Biodiesel Most common: B20 Concerns lie with biodiesel blends greater than B20

Advantages and Disadvantages of Ethanol Blends: 

3 Advantages and Disadvantages of Ethanol Blends Improves air emissions Can improve octane Tax Incentives Less Dependence on foreign fuels Compatibility Concerns Phase Separation Accelerated Corrosion Conductivity Reduced Fuel Economy

Compatibility Concerns: 

4 Compatibility Concerns Why should we worry about compatibility? State and Federal rules require that “ all equipment used for storing and dispensing motor fuels be compatible with the product being stored”

Compatibility Concerns: 

5 Compatibility Concerns Can’t you use the same equipment that you use for regular unleaded gasoline? The answer to this is “no.” Ethanol blended fuel can cause system parts to degrade and dissolve over time.

Equipment Concerns: 

6 Equipment Concerns Why is equipment affected? Simply put, E85 is not compatible with soft metals such as aluminum, brass and zinc; many plastics, such as polyurethane and PVC; and certain resins used in older, lined tanks.

How can these concerns be addressed?: 

7 How can these concerns be addressed? UL-listed for high blend fuels Manufacturer can provide documentation Many components made are compatible Information is not readily available Nickel plating

Phase Separation and Accelerated Corrosion: 

8 Phase Separation and Accelerated Corrosion What is “Phase Separation”? Ethanol separates from the petroleum when water enters the tank. Why does “Accelerated Corrosion” occur? Loosens internal deposits and sludge Degrades corrosion plugs To avoid it-clean the tank properly

Conductivity and Fuel Economy: 

9 Conductivity and Fuel Economy Ethanol has a greater electrical conductivity than petroleum Fuel Economy Decreases by about 10 %

What is Biodiesel?: 

10 What is Biodiesel? Produced from vegetable oils or recycled greases Raw oils that have not been processed should be avoided Recognized as an alternative fuel under 1992 Energy Policy Act


11 B20 Most common blend Good balance between cost, emissions, performance, compatibility and solvency Minimum blend for compliance with Energy Act 1 to 2 percent decrease in Fuel economy

Advantages and Disadvantages of Biodiesel: 

12 Advantages and Disadvantages of Biodiesel Tax Incentives Less foreign fuels Increased lubrication Reduced air emissions Renewable Nontoxic Biodegradable Compatibility concerns (>B20) Cold flow Fuel Economy Solvency

Compatibility Concerns : 

13 Compatibility Concerns Potential equipment problems Only evident for blends greater than B20 Hoses and Gaskets Inappropriate filters may clog Some plastics

Compatibility Concerns: 

14 Compatibility Concerns Brass, Bronze, Copper, Lead may accelerate corrosion and create sediments Fittings made of these materials may change colors Natural Rubber and Nitrile may soften and cause gaskets to fail

Acceptable Materials: 

15 Acceptable Materials Teflon, Viton, Fluorinated Plastics, Nylon Aluminum, Steel, Fluorinated Polyethylene and Polypropylene, Fiberglass Questions on materials: National Biodiesel Board


16 Recommendations Nozzle Conversion kit for compatibility issues 30 Micron filter for solvency issues Set up monthly monitoring program

Other Biodiesel Concerns: 

17 Other Biodiesel Concerns Cold Flow Freezes/ gels at higher temperatures then conventional diesel May cause filters to clog Fuel Economy Economy decreases with higher blends Solvency May loosen/dissolve sediments in tank

What should an inspection consist of?: 

18 What should an inspection consist of? Signs of wear on hoses, gaskets and seals Regular filter changes Automatic tank gauge is calibrated for biodiesel and is producing accurate results Check for proper labeling

SC UST Program Alternative Fuel Initiatives: 

19 SC UST Program Alternative Fuel Initiatives Created Alternative Fuel Checklist Should be completed for new installs and conversions Required for blends greater than B20/ E10 Recommended for all other blends

SC UST Program Alternative Fuel Initiatives: 

20 SC UST Program Alternative Fuel Initiatives Established relationship with Palmetto Clean Fuels Coalition Created an alternative fuel reference guide contains compatibility documents and research

SC UST Program Alternative Fuel Initiatives: 

21 SC UST Program Alternative Fuel Initiatives Contacted owners who converted prior to checklist Shared our knowledge with EPA Regions 3, 4 and 5 Established a program to track all facilities who use alternative fuels (UST’s only) Current SC E85 UST locations: 45 Current SC B20 UST locations: 39

Current/Proposed Alternative Fuel Production Sites: 

22 Current/Proposed Alternative Fuel Production Sites

SC E85/Biodiesel Consumption (Gallons): 

23 SC E85/Biodiesel Consumption (Gallons)


24 Questions? Thank you for your time! Alison M. Hathcock UST Permitting Coordinator SC Dept. of Health & Environmental Control (803) 896-6942

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