Effect of Alcohol Fuels on Fuel-Line Materials of Gasoline Vehicles 2005-01-3708
In 1999, some Japanese fuel suppliers sold highly concentrated alcohol fuels, which are mixtures of gasoline and oxygenates, such as alcohol or ether, in amounts of 50% or more. In August 2001, it was reported that some vehicle models using the highly concentrated alcohol fuels encountered fuel leakage and vehicle fires due to corrosion of the aluminum used for the fuel-system parts. The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport Government of Japan (MLIT) jointly established the committee on safety for highly concentrated alcohol fuels in September 2001. The committee consisted of automotive technology and metal corrosion experts knowledgeable about preventing such accidents and ensuring user safety. Immersion tests were conducted on metals and other materials used for the fuel-supply system parts to determine the corrosion resistance to each alcohol component contained in the highly concentrated alcohol fuels. It was confirmed that each alcohol component contained in the highly concentrated alcohol fuels currently on the market causes corrosion of the aluminum generally used for automotive fuel-system parts.