E10 Petrol

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Will E10 petrol work in my garden machinery ?

From 1st September 2021 the ethanol content found in the standard grade 95 octane unleaded petrol will change from 5% (E5) to 10% (E10) and will cause the problems found with E5 petrol to happen much faster


What is ethanol & why is it in petrol?

Ethanol is an alcohol derived from plant materials. It has become one of the key players in the biofuel industry as it’s made from crops or waste by-products and is therefore renewable. The process to develop crops into ethanol is relatively simple, the production is considerably cheaper than other fuel sources and can help to produce cleaner exhaust emissions from vehicles.
Because of this, the UK government introduced financial incentives for suppliers of petrol to use a percentage of ethanol in their blends.


How does ethanol in petrol affect garden machinery?

Whilst using fresh fuel containing ethanol is unlikely to cause any performance issues with your garden machinery, in reality, it is very rare that fresh fuel is always used. Although most garden machinery uses small volumes of fuel, it is more practical for the operator to purchase their fuel in bulk. Can you remember when you last filled up the can of fuel which is in your shed? Most manufacturers state fresh fuel should be less than 30 days old and kept in a sealed container.

The most critical problems caused by ethanol fuel blends are water contamination and fuel separation, both of which happen during storage. This process is sped up when the fuel is allowed to “breath” to the atmosphere and the ethanol is given the chance to absorb moisture from the air.

Whilst a small amount of water in the fuel might not cause an issue, if the machine is left in storage for a longer period, the fuel can absorb moisture to a point where it cannot be held in suspension any longer and phase separation will occur. This will appear as a bubble or layer of water which will sit below the fuel in the fuel tank. This ethanol-water mix is very corrosive and will not allow the engine to run if it is sucked into the fuel system. If this happens within the carburettor of the machine, it can leave behind gummy deposits which can block ports in the carburettor when the fuel evaporates. Sometimes this can be resolved by simply removing the carburettor and giving it a clean but more often than not, a new carburettor may be the only solution.



Use ethanol-free fuel such as Aspen and you will also benefit from reducing toxic emissions and not needing to mix 2-stroke fuel.

If you continue to use regular pump fuel, always keep your fuel fresh, never use fuel over 30 days old – whether in the fuel tank or from a storage container.


How should petrol be stored ?

• Petrol will start to deteriorate if stored for more than 1 month.

• Add fuel stabiliser to fresh petrol which is likely to be stored for more than 1 month.

• Only use clean, sealed, approved fuel containers, designed to specifically carry or store petrol.

• If petrol is stored in a steel container (eg a jerrycan) make sure there is no corrosion on the in side of the container.

• Store petrol in a cool place away from direct sunlight.





Aspen 1
Aspen 2

Robert H Crawford & Son, Frithville, Boston PE22 7DU, Tel:01205 750367 email info@rhcrawford.com