Seasonal Storage Issues of Intermediate Ethanol Blended Fuels

Minnesota State University-Mankato/Bruce Jones and Gary Mead

The purpose of this study is to determine the effects of storing gasoline including E10, E15 and E20 on the fuel systems of 2-stroke and 4-stroke small engines found on power equipment. The test is designed to closely mimic how consumers store their power equipment over summer and winter. Unlike automobiles which tend to be used frequently and year-round, small engines use is often seasonal and infrequent, which allows fuel to remain in them for extended periods of time, which can lead to starting and operational issues. Most small engines are carbureted and have no method to automatically compensate for fuel-related issues. The study will investigate both material compatibility and performance issues such as starting, hot start/restart, idle and wide open throttle stability.