ValvTect president: Industry can help solve E15 problems

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E15 is headed our way, but boating can survive and thrive in its presence through education and maintenance, the head of one of the leading manufacturers of fuel additives told marine industry journalists last week.

“I think the marine industry needs to be part of the solution,” Jerry Nessenson, president of ValvTect Petroleum Products, said Jan. 6 during the company’s webinar entitled “Marine Fuel Problems & Solutions.”

“We cannot panic people into believing that because of E10 or E15 that they shouldn’t buy a boat or use a boat or that they should sell the boat they have.”

Instead, the industry needs to adapt fuel for marine use, practice good housekeeping at its fuel-selling marinas, implement active service procedures and provide consumer education, Nessenson told about 20 marine journalists during the 90-minute interactive session.

He said fuel treatments and maintenance procedures can ward off the damaging effects of ethanol on marine engines and fuel systems. Ethanol can cause marine engine corrosion and performance problems, deteriorate fuel lines and clog filters. Nessenson used portions of the presentation to promote ValvTect products, such as ValvTect fuel, which is sold at 600 marinas nationwide, and the additive ValvTect Ethanol Gasoline Treatment.

There are more than a half-dozen other well-known ethanol fuel treatments, including Marine Formula Sta-Bil Ethanol Treatment, Star brite Star Tron Enzyme Fuel Treatment and CRC’s Phase Guard 4.

In October, the Environmental Protection Agency waived a limitation on selling fuel that is more than 10 percent ethanol for model-year 2007 and newer cars and light trucks. Marine engines are exempted. The National Marine Manufacturers Association and several other groups have filed suit in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, challenging the EPA’s partial waiver.

The EPA is proposing E15 pump-label rules. Nessenson said labeling should be prominent and specific. ” ‘Caution’ labels are not enough,” he said. “They should say ‘Warning: Do Not Use in Marine Engines.’ “

The EPA’s approval could cause other problems, including the potential for E15 to be less expensive than E10, a limited availability of E10, “misdeliveries” of E15 to marinas and fuel re-seller liability problems.

The webinar also addressed the rising cost of fuel. “Guys, this is not a pretty picture,” Nessenson said. “If we look at what will impact our industry, this is concerning.”

— Chris Landry


9 comments on “ValvTect president: Industry can help solve E15 problems

  1. richard janis

    Will the current additives(startron) that are in stock and being currently used by boaters work with the E15? Or will current inventories be ineffective? Richard Janis-Star Island Yacht Club, Montauk NY

  2. Marilyn DeMartini

    I fully support the educational effort but I also believe that the industry and we as individuals have to petition our Congress and the EPA to take action to curb this railroading by the sugar industry and its lobbyist to push ethanol down our throats and gas pumps!  We are paying for subsidies to these industries for a substance that is expensive to produce, ineffective and damaging.  Then we also have to pay for the repairs to our equipment–it is preposterous and yes, we can say, “Don’t use in marine engines” but we must also say, “Don’t MAKE us accept ethanol–look at other alternatives and do your homework–this is NOT working!”  The NMMA and Marine Industries Assoc. have been doing a great job on this but we need to support them as members and VOTERS.

  3. Bill Lindsey

    All additives on the market should still work with E15. However, keep in mind that at present the waiver allows it to be sold ONLY for use in cars & trucks manufctured in 2007 or later. It is not to be used in boats, lawnmowers, older cars, etc
    Yeah, I know there could be “mistakes” and aload of E15 show up at your local gas station, but ask yourself this question: if you were a gas station owner, how soon will you spend the cash required to set up a system of E15 pumps strictly to fuel cars & trucks built in 2007 or later? You still need the E10 pumps for everything else, plus you need to make a capital expenditure to dispense E15. that’s going to be expensive and the EPA won’t be paying for it.
    While the EPA did allow a waiver, the reality is that it is highly unlikely that we will see E15 at the pump anytime in the near future. As usual, the politicians did not consider the real-world implications.

  4. damarine

    CRC’s PhaseGuard4 Ethanol Fuel Treatment additive may be used to treat gasoline with greater than 10% ethanol. It is effective in up to e85 fuels.

  5. Mat Dunn

    EPA itself has determined that E15 is not compatible with marine engines, and some 400 million other non-road engines and equipment. That is why the Agency retained the prohibition of E15 for marine and other non-road equipment. Boat operators should not use E15 as it is illegal, incompatible and will likely void engine warranties as current engines are not designed, calibrated or certified to run on E15. Marinas should not be selling E15 or any blend above E10 for marine applications.
    The issue is the huge fleet of legacy marine engines and boats for which E15 is specifically prohibited by federal law. Boaters invest significantly in their marine equipment and the manner through which EPA is introducing this new fuel into the market is highly inelegant and problematic.
    The other issue is long-term availability of compatible fuels (i.e. E10 maximum) for the existing legacy fleet.  Over time, compatible fuels will become less available and more expensive for boaters unless we work together to engage Congress. NMMA is engaging the courts, Congress and the EPA as well as a broad coalition of partners to mitigate the very real likelihood of widespread problems from E15 associated with the marine sector.
    Mat Dunn

  6. mm1e6

    One time and one time only….Denatured alcohol is made by adding gasoline components to pure alcohol derived from some source. This can be grain, sugar, corn, etc. Either way, adding gasoline components to alcohol or adding alcohol to gasoline produces the same result.
    The resulting product has a lot of radical loose ends (receptors). These receptors have to be satisfied; a rule in physics and nature. The “satisfaction” can be water which is most abundant in the marine environment. It is also anything else which can be oxidized, assimilated or combined.
    In marine environments, water does most of the satisfying. However, the alloy components in the fuel system and engine can also fill the gap when the water molecules run out. Water in itself collects in the system furthering the problem by causing the effects associated with water contamination.
    So what can be done. First it must be understood that all you can do with alcohol is suspend the effect or burn it. You cannot “treat” it to go away. In your car the system is basically closed which greatly limits the amount of moisture that can be “attracted” or assimilated. In your boat the system is vented to atmosphere by the fuel tank vent line, 5/8″ or greater allowing constant contact with the atmosphere. Let’s face it, alcohol likes water and in boats, a good path is provided.
    So what can you do. Keep your fuel system clean with a good system cleaner at regular intervals and always use a good stabilizing product. The cleaner will help suspend and carry the contaminants through the system to be combusted or collected in the fuel filter component. Stabilizer will help reduce the normal fuel breakdown over time thus reducing the acceleration effect of free radicals available. This will reduce the corrosion and deterioration effects. If don’t use you boat for long periods of time, up the stabilizer component and consider the installation of a secondary water/contaminant treatment device. A good marina or boatyard can assist with this process and show you how to use it.
    In the long run two things will have to occur to end the problem. The first is a stay of execution by introducing the closed fuel system to the marine environment. The second, but more costly will be to abandon the gasoline engine as we know it today across the board and redesign the engine and fuel system for agrivated blended fuels.
    Currently the method being tried is “bigger” is better. Increasing cubic inch displacement can solve some of the problems, but where do you stop. The trade off for E15 would be 11.4L which would most likely be totally impracticable. Added to that EPA requirements, state and local air quality add ons and other concerns and you can easily see we are headed in the wrong direction. Just to make a point, since the engine is a thermal converter, it would produce the most power per pound of fuel if it could burn coal. Next would be diesel, then gasoline and finally alcohol. I will stop there as the point is, the lower the number of BTU’s per pound of fuel, the more it takes to accomplish the same goal.
    So, where are we really? we are getting bigger to do less with more and increasing maintenance costs at the same time. You be the judge!

  7. Rich Pindell

    I have spent the last 5 years researching the effects of water contamination in the marine and heavy equipment industry. Everybody here already knows the destabilizing effect that water has on ethanol blended gasolines, but the general public has no idea. That won’t stop the lobbyists from pushing their agenda’s to sell more of the stuff. E-blended gas is here to stay.
    We have developed a simple and reusable way to ELIMINATE the greatest source point of water contamination before it enters the fuel. Undeniably a “low-tech” solution but it is Patent Pending, the H2Out filter is our result.
    Our H2Out inline Air Vent Dryer installs into the fuel tanks air vent. Silica Gel desiccant processes all the incoming air to a state of dryness where condensation cannot occur inside the tank, humid air never touches the fuel. Chemical indicators on the desiccant turn color, turning from blue to pink and can be returned to blue by simply baking the beads in the oven. Our tests indicate the ability to stabilize B100 biodiesel using only our H2Out. We will repeat our testing before releasing our results, but, we believe we have something here, thus the Patent Pending.

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