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  • Press Release

UL announces new certification path for ethanol fuel dispensers

August 10, 2009

NORTHBROOK, Ill., August 10, 2009 -- Underwriters Laboratories (UL), a world leader in product safety testing services, announced today a new certification path for fuel dispensers for mid-level ethanol blends up to E25. With the new certification path, manufacturers of dispensers, assemblies and components now have three certification options to choose from to balance market needs and provide maximum flexibility as advances are made in the fuel industry.

"The development of renewable energies continues to evolve at a rapid pace and we understand the need for future innovation, cost effectiveness and getting product to market quickly; however, public safety must remain paramount," said Jeff Smidt, General Manager Global Energy Business for UL. "We now have multiple certification paths available for fuel dispensers that will provide not only for public safety, but also future blend flexibility for dispenser manufacturers. We feel with this additional certification path, we have addressed current and future industry needs."

For 115 years, UL has leveraged a transparent process to regularly develop and review product safety standards and requirements. Requirements are changed, added or retired as global safety needs advance. As such, the new midlevel certification path was proactively developed and presented at a July 16 meeting of dispenser and component manufacturers. The meeting addressed the fuel dispensing market and potential market developments.  As of August 3, 2009, UL is providing three certification paths for dispensers of pre-blended fuels. They are:

  1. UL 87 for gasoline and ethanol fuel blends up to E10
  2. The established requirements of Subject 87A-E85, which address gasoline and ethanol fuel blends up to E85
  3. The new certification path in Subject 87A-E25, which addresses gasoline and mid-level ethanol fuel blends up to E25

"We set the new requirements for fuel dispensers based on research of multiple blend concentrations and their effects on components," said Smidt. "There is increased potential for different types of damage to materials and components at blends above E25 and, as a result, there are more stringent requirements for dispensers for use with these higher blend levels. This new mid-level option, up to E25, provides another certification path and can help facilitate the distribution of ethanol blends in the market."

UL has been active in the discussion around the safe distribution and dispensing of alternative fuels including conducting research, developing standards and performing tests while working closely with dispenser manufacturers, manufacturers of dispenser assemblies and components, and governmental stakeholders. Prior to August 1, UL had two certification paths for gasoline and ethanol fuel dispensing units, UL87 for blends up to E10 and Subject 87A for blends up to E85. UL first announced Subject 87A covering E85 dispensers in October of 2007. The additional level to Subject 87A for E25 will help assure that mid-level pre-blended fuels, if adopted, can be dispensed safely.

"As the market continues to evolve and new blends are introduced into the market, UL has provided us with the full range of certification paths for ethanol dispensers and equipment," said Charley Sunderhaus, risk manager at OPW Fueling Components. "UL's new requirements will help us meet market needs and provide peace of mind that the units are compatible for use."