Underwriters Laboratories (UL) has a question-and-answer page on its www.ul.com/regulators/ web site that addresses many issues about ethanol and its relationship to UL certification for equipment.
UL is in the process of studying ethanol in relationship to its UL Markings (Listing or Recognition) for manufacturers. On Oct 5, 2006, UL suspended authorization for manufacturers to use UL Markings (Listing or Recognition) on components for fuel-dispensing devices that specifically reference compatibility with alcohol-blended fuels that contain greater than 15 percent alcohol, such as ethanol, methanol, or other alcohols.
Bob James, a UL representative, told Bulk Transporter on July 25, 2007, that the UL testing on ethanol-related products, such as dispensing machines, hoses, pumps, and filters, is scheduled to begin at the end of this year or early in 2008. Just when a final decision will be made on UL product certification will depend on the results of the research.
On Nov 1-2, 2006, UL hosted a technical forum at its Northbrook IL headquarters with the Department of Energy (DOE) that featured 32 national experts. UL said that not all of the information obtained from the meeting was substantiated with technical data or related to material compatibility testing protocols for E85 dispensers. Some of the information also contained contradictory conclusions about the suitability of certain materials when exposed to alcohol blends. UL is taking all of this information into account, and is actively undertaking additional research and outreach pursuant to developing effective safety requirements for E85 fuel dispensers.
For more information, access www.ul.com/.