EASA warns against ethanol in aviation fuels

The GAfuels Blog is written by two private pilots concerned about the future availability of fuels for piston-engine aircraft: Dean Billing, Sisters, Ore., an expert on autogas and ethanol, and Kent Misegades, Cary, N.C., an aerospace engineer and aviation journalist.

A recently-released study from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), titled “Safety Implications of Biofuels in Aviation,” details a multi-year study of the effects of ethanol on aircraft. Areas researched in the literature review, laboratory investigations and on engine test stands included phase separation, long-term storage, vapor lock, material compatibility, life cycle analysis, water detection and Failure Mode and Effects Analysis. In warning strongly against the use of ethanol in Mogas, “Research Project EASA.2008/6” predicted that, should ethanol-free Mogas become unavailable at airports, lead emissions in Germany alone would increase from 12 metric tons today to 18 tons per year as pilots are forced to use 100LL instead of Mogas.

Submitted by Kent Misegades

For a list of airports that have ethanol-free fuel and those no longer pumping it, compiled by the authors, follow this link.

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