News - West Palm Beach, Ft Myers, Boynton Beach, Okeechobee Hurricane preparedness by Palmdale Oil Company

Palmdale Oil Announces Full Distribution of Ethanol-Based Fuel
May 22, 2008

Fort Pierce, Florida – Palmdale Oil has announced that it is now distributing all fuel according to recent mandates in the Clean Air Act Amendment. Almost all of the gasoline now in the state of Florida is shipped in from the refineries as E10 (10% ethanol and 90% gasoline). Within a few months, Palmdale Oil expects that most all of the major oil companies will be selling at least E10, and conventional gasoline will cease to exist in the state of Florida.

Today, over 15% of U.S. motor fuels contain ethanol, a high octane, non-toxic, biodegradable alcohol produced from renewable resources such as grains and wood. Ethanol provides environmental benefits as it reduces tail-pipe emissions, carbon monoxide, and air toxins.

For most Palmdale Oil customers, the conversion to ethanol blended gasoline will be a smooth transition and go unnoticed. However, there are some precautionary measures that must be taken in order to prevent product contamination.

    1.) Ethanol is miscible (mixable) in all proportions with water. This is unlike conventional gasoline which does not have a high tolerance for water, and the water quickly separates to the bottom. In ethanol blended gasoline, water can be added to a saturation level before separation will occur and the ethanol/water mix will fall out of the gasoline. This separation is known as "phase separation".

    Phase separation will occur when ethanol absorbs water to a saturation level of 0.5% (one-half %), or around 5 gallons of water per 1,000 gallons of fuel. The concentrated ethanol/water mixture separates to the bottom of the tank resulting in a leaner combustion mixture that may cause engine failure or damage. Ethanol adds 2 to 3 points to the fuel octane; if phase separation occurs, the pure gasoline at the top of the tank may not meet the minimum engine octane requirements and cause poor performance.

    2.) Ethanol is a solvent that acts as a cleaning agent. It will clean rust from steel and iron parts, oxidation from aluminum parts, and varnish and gum that may have accumulated throughout the fuel system. Rust, dirt, and particulates may break loose from the tank bottom, walls, and piping shortly after conversion. Frequent filter changes are likely after the initial delivery. Once the system is clean, filter life will return to normal. Older tanks will have more build up, and therefore more cleaning will occur than in newer tanks.

    3.) Ethanol may deteriorate older fiberglass tanks that are found on marine vessels. Fiberglass tanks manufactured before the 1970's may experience problems, and it is recommended that owners of these vessels check with the manufacturer to determine compatibility with ethanol blended gasoline.

Palmdale Oil Company has successfully completed tank conversions at all of its facilities for ethanol blended gasoline through the cleaning of its tanks and elimination of water. The company has also installed special filters to prevent any future threat to customers' fuel supplies.

South Florida-based Palmdale Oil is a customer-centric, family-owned fuel distributor changing the standard in the fleet fuel and distribution. Palmdale Oil procures its fuel supply from four different terminals on both coasts in the South Florida area and the company operates up to 30 trucks daily, delivering millions gallons of fuel per year. Palmdale Oil offers a full line of TOTAL/FINA-based products for its customers throughout the state. This distinction, combined with its other lubricant products and petroleum-based equipment, Palmdale Oil is positioned as one of the premier providers of petroleum-based products in all of Florida.