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Possible Fire Danger - Using Ethanol Gasoline

Blending ethanol with unleaded gasoline creates a liquid whose vapor pressure is greater than unleaded gasoline alone. In other words, the blended mixture volatilizes (evaporates) much quicker than normal unleaded gasoline alone. In large fuel tanks such as in an automobile, the increased volatilization is not a problem with today’s fuel injected systems. However, in two and four cycle engines found in portable power equipment such as chain saws, generators, etc., the small tanks and carburetors cannot always accommodate the increased volatilization. As a result, your equipment can mimic carburetor malfunctions, vapor lock, or out of fuel scenarios.

When using the blended fuel, the fire hazard can occur when the equipment is hot and the operator removes the gas cap to verify the fuel level. With increased volatilization, vapors are released which could result in a flash fire, or boiling of the fuel from the gasoline tank onto a hot manifold.

The Portable Power Equipment Manufacturers Association (PPEMA) has confirmed that the use of ethanol blended unleaded gasoline does create additional problems when operating portable power equipment.

One would think, surely the higher octane rating would seem a better choice, but considering the increased fire hazard potential and the pitfalls of problematic operation of the equipment, is a blended mixture really worth it?

If you do need fuel with a higher octane rating for your small equipment, consider using a higher rated unleaded gasoline only, rather than an ethanol supplemented gasoline. If higher octane doesn’t matter to you one way or another, reduce potential hazards and/or injuries from your small equipment by “watching out” for ethanol supplemented gasoline.

If your construction site has workers blending fuel, make sure they've read the IIPP on fire hazards.

All construction site managers should have an Injury & Illness Protection Plan on hand and should train their employees to be aware of these situations.

Source: www.articledashboard.com