Underwriters Laboratories holding up certification of E85 filling stations

If you've ever used any appliances you've probably noticed the UL logo for Underwriters Laboratories somewhere on the device. Underwriters Laboratories Inc. is an independent, non-profit that does safety testing and certification of all kinds of products. Although most consumer products are generally not required to be UL certified, there are some things that must be certified. In many locations fuel pumps have to be UL certified in order for a filling station to meet fire codes.

According to UL manager of consumer affairs John Drengenberg, although they have certified some components for alternative fuels, they hadn't started looking at complete E85 compatible systems until May of this year. Corrosion of certain metal components has always been known to be an issue with ethanol and this is one of the areas that gets modified on flex-fuel capable vehicles. UL determined that it needed more information about the long-term corrosion effects of ethanol on the fuel delivery systems. Because of the fire code requirement for UL certification this means that many planned E85 filling stations will be delayed unless the operators can get waivers for the ethanol pumps. In the meantime, UL says are moving as quickly as they can to get the necessary information on corrosion, but they have not set a deadline for completion of E85 pump certification.

[Source: Detroit Free Press]

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