Ethanol Problems: A Proposed Solution

NMMA takes key steps toward fuel additive certification.

The National Marine Manufacturers Association took key steps in March to create a certification program for marine fuel additives, particularly treatments designed to mitigate the damaging effects of ethanol-laced gasoline on boat engines and fuel systems. [_See: Taking a Stand Against Ethanol_]

According to Tom Marhevko, vice president of engineering standards for the NMMA, the Fuel Additive Group — a special subset of the Oil Certification Committee — identified six characteristics to be used in test evaluation and certification of fuel additives. These include:

1. Oxidation stability (for stabilizing gas).
2. Corrosion protection (for internal engine components).
3. Cleanliness (to control deposits).
4. Water handling (to forestall phase separation).
5. Compatibility with elastomers (rubberlike materials).
6. Emissions (to ensure compliance with Environmental Protection Agency regulations).

"Pretty much everyone agreed that fuel additive certification would be good for the consumer, as well as engine manufacturers," Marhevko said, "although there were a few who did not agree." [_See: Certifying Ethanol Treatments_]

The group’s next step is to look for an existing test standard that might be utilized in a potential evaluation for the six characteristics identified by the NMMA group.