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Edward Wheeler

Edward Wheeler on the Road to Zero

The Road to Zero is going to create a huge amount of change in the UK over the next 30 years, which is both exciting and unsettling because it is difficult to set long term visions and plans for both Eurotank and life in general.

As someone who has spent the past 20 years learning about fuel, the government announcement banning the internal combustion engine made me feel like a dinosaur overnight. There has been a bit of vacuum of information from further upstream in the fuel industry about how we can play our part in decarbonising the economy.

Biofuels were a big reason for the growth that Eurotank experienced in the noughties, as the need for tank maintenance went from almost nothing to a significant requirement in a very short space of time. Having been there at the beginning of the journey of biofuels introduction, it almost feels as if that is a chapter that has ended.

The electric car seems to have wiped away the narrative around ever increasing biofuel percentages as we move to a greener world but there must still be plenty of scope for further percentage introductions and finding new feedstock supply chains that are renewable and clean.

Methanol has kept me busy over the years as some of the petrol in the UK has a small methanol content which makes the fuel aggressive to seals, gaskets and even tanks.  I would often say that you really don’t want methanol in your supply chain as it will soon tell you where all the low-spec seals and gaskets are in the system.Seal and gasket failures lead to vapour leaking out and water leaking in, so a nightmare for fuel retailers.

It appears, however, that methanol can be made in a very beneficial way in terms of CO2 and renewability, so could become part of the interim solution to reducing the environmental impact of liquid fuels over the next few decades.

The same message will apply if it does: keep water out and make sure your fuel infrastructure is chemically resistant to it.

Methanol is a small molecule which has more of an ability to penetrate materials and cause problems. You need to know if your fuel contains it as a starting point.

Published date:
November 20, 2021