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Glass fibre petrol tanks and problems with Ethanol in pump fuel.

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  • Much research into ethanol in fuel has been carried out by VMCC, FBHVC and others; check their websites for more info...

    Here is an extract of a reply I received from BP, asking them about ethanol in their superunleaded, last year:-

    Date: Wed, 2 Apr 2014 09:27:23 +0100

    Dear Mr Cordes,

    Thank you for your email concerning the fuel sold by BP.

    In most regions of the UK our Ultimate Unleaded dos not contain any Ethanol at present (South West UK excluded). This may of course change in the future as the specification allows up to 5%. If there will be any changes, these will bw shown on the pumps and at the stations.

    Our Regular grade gasoline does contain up to 5% bio ethanol in compliance with EN228 gasoline specification allowance in most regions of the UK.

    BP does not supply Bio Ethanol as a fuel.

    Kind regards,


    Retail Customer Care Team


    This shows it does contain ethanol in the south-west. Ethanol is added to the tankers when they are being loaded for delivery, which is no doubt determined by the policy of the distribution depots, as BP, for example, do not actually produce the stuff.

    Murco s/unleaded used to be ethanol-free in the south-east, below the M4 corridor, but when they shut their Milford Haven refinery late last year, selling it and 3 depots earlier this year, that can't be guaranteed any more.

    It has been established that Esso and Shell, as well as all supermarkets, supply ethanol in all their petrol. There was a question mark over Texaco, but apparently they haven't confirmed or denied, so let the buyer beware.

    Unfortunately, legislation only requires notification on the forecourt pumps if the ethanol content is above 5%.....


    • No matter what we do , the fact is the fuel company's will stop producing the good stuff if the market is not great enough

      We are being forced off the road unless you can afford to keep up with new car electronics as well, my car has just cost a fortune to sort out why it did not start, after paying a fortune iti s still breaking down .diagnostic cost have still not got it sorted??

      Where can i get a vehicle that starts stops, takes you from a to b without the all singing dancing rubbish that we are told is good for you.

      Anybody got a Morris 1000 ,!!! but we have no little garages now or the employees . what is going wrong with the world


      • Colin, My first test when I added a few drops of water to about 25cc of Shell petrol and shook it up produced a milky coloured solution that sat at the bottom of the jar. Repeating the test with Esso super unleaded, the water remained clear and in globule form, so I assumed the Shell contained ethanol. Having seen the insides of a lot of Ducati steel tanks that have rusted badly, it is apparent that it is a problem that will affect older cars and bikes more than modern ones. Ducati in particular along with Aprilia and Triumph have suffered badly in America with the 10% Ethanol content affecting the plastic tanks. The Ducati tanks were swelling and becoming detached from the front mountings,



        • Have just done a test using a glass measuring cylinder for accuracy with the following result. Adding 100cc of petrol to 100cc of water, giving a shake and allowing to settle, the water level was marginally over 105cc. This was Shell V-Power from a local garage. Conclusively proves to me anyway that it contains ethanol and my decision to only use race fuel is vindicated. Dogsbody


          • Repeated today with Esso Super unleaded. Almost instant separation with no discolouring of the petrol and no increase in the water level. So that petrol station has ethanol free for the time being at least. Will be interested to see if anyone else has similar results. Dogsbody


            • That is interesting about Esso superunleaded being ethanol-free, assuming that test method is reliable. It may be a regional thing, given that the general consensus is that the only one that can be relied upon for being ethanol free is BP Ultimate, and then, only in some parts of the country.

              I have heard that the method you describe has been used to remove ethanol from petrol, by pouring the petrol off, leaving the water/ethanol mix behind. What the characteristics of the petrol would be is another thing. Also, a bit tedious, and tricky to do on the forecourt.....