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The next big concern with today's UST systems: ethanol - UST Training

August 8, 2014

Based on some reports as well as personal eye witness accounts. we’ve seen an increase of corrosion being caused by the introduction of ethanol into the nation’s gasoline and stored in underground storage tanks. The National Institute of Standards and Technology recently published this article highlighting the problem.

NIST Corrosion Lab Tests Suggest Need for Underground Gas Tank Retrofits

Some interesting this noted:

  • Corrosion appears to boring holes into steel parts at a rate of one millimeter per year.
  • The study only looked at containment sump corrosion, recognizing there might be other parts of the UST system prone to corrosion-based problems.
  • For you chemists out there “These incidents are generally associated with use of gasoline-ethanol blends and the presence of bacteria, Acetobacter aceti, which convert ethanol to acetic acid, a component of vinegar.”
  • Much of the nation’s UST infrastructure is not specifically designed for ethanol blended fuels.
  • Copper tubing-like found on a line leak detector-takes longer to corrode to the point of break through, but can cause bent or crimped tubing to fail prematurely.

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